(Monday 25th November 2011, No:2139/AG) PRESIDENT APPOINTS PRYDE AS NEW DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced today that the President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has appointed Christopher Thomas Pryde as the Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr Pryde has been serving as Fiji’s Solicitor-General since 2007 and Permanent Secretary for Justice & Anti- corruption since 2009, positions he will relinquish.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is an independent entity and represents the State in criminal cases. The Deputy Solicitor-General Sharvada Sharma will serve as Acting Solicitor-General.

The Attorney-General also thanked outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions Ayesha Jinasena for her service. She will return home to Sri Lanka.

Comments

We expect and require excellence from the Office of the DPP said…
We need a fully independent and fully effective Director of Public Prosecutions in Fiji. The holder of this office must be fearless and answerable to the people of Fiji and their best interests alone. The interests of justice must be served without conflicting interest and they must be seen to be so.

Most past office holders have failed egregiously. They have notoriously failed us. Singularly lacking courage and competency. We must now expect and require better.
Get the real story said…
Croz
Instead of trying to yet again cut and paste with spin perhaps you should make an effort to get the real story here? And if you do and still maintain that the junta judiciary is 'independent' then you are either very naive or dishonest.
sara'ssista said…
'she will return home?' what more sri lankans leaving for 'family reasons?' no comment or mention of the circumstances? all is well, nothing to see here i suppose.
Navosavakadua said…
As your report notes, the A-G thanked the out-going DPP for her services.

Alas, AS-K forgot to tell Bainimarama that he went through these motions of propriety because the DPP is supposed to be an independent position. Bainimarama blurted out out that Ms Jinasena had been far "'too lenient".

This comment makes clear that Bainimarama has no idea of the DPP's statutory responsibility. It is to assess the likelihood of conviction, not the merits of the case in terms of whether a suspect, if convicted, should be punished.

BTW Croz, let's not forget that the path of Sayed-Khaiyum is littered with sacked prosecutors.

A year ago Aca Rayawa was replaced as DPP by Ms Jinasena. Deputy DPP Ratu David Toganivalu and principal legal officer Ana Tuiketei also had their contracts terminated with no explanations given.

Less than twelve moths before that, Aca Rayawa had been appointed to fill the shoes of DPP John Rabuku who was removed with explanations being given. After Rabuku left office five DPP lawyers had their contracts terminated.

Less than a year before that, when the Constitution was abrogated, DPP Josaia Naigulevu was placed under house arrest and sacked. Naigulevu's office and that of Senior Prosecutor Pita Bulamainaivalu were raided and files were removed.

Prior to this Sayed-Khaiyum had set up FICAC as his personal instrument of retribution because he couldn't trust the Fiji Police Force or the DPP to carry out his instructions without question. But even FICAC could not meet the standards of obedience required by Sayed-Khaiyum. FICAC legal manager Madhawa Tenakoon was fired by FICAC on the orders of Sayed-Khaiyum because he had concerns about politically motivated prosecutions.
sara'ssista said…
oh dear, given this litany of ' mostly unexplained incidences chipping away at the the 'standard of independence' . Perhaps Fiji has it's own 'standard' modelled on the chinese/burmese justice system , like in most things here that are now free from the shackles of western democratic norms and values. PNG's recent farce related to the CJ and deputy PM is another more recent glaring expample. Perhaps the lesson learnt is the further Pacific and other nations get from the systems and protections they inherited, the more of mess they seem to make of it, as they appear to bastardise it for their own ends. There is still no accountability whatsoever, so much for 'reform'.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
On the matter of the DPP and the inherent integrity of the Office-holder:

For a period of almost three and a half years (2003 - December 2006) the Director of Public Prosecutions (in person) was expected to quarterly report to the Justice, Law & Order SWG9(Government Planning Committee). This was done in an incrementally desultory fashion. It is now apparent to those who witnessed this insufficient performance (and surely to the AUSAid program funders) just how far short this reporting and performance went? Indeed, the entire edifice of justice was shown to be falling apart. There are views that this is also the case now. But are those views substantiated? The courts appear to be running at a minimum in safety and security for those who attend. The issue of legality/illegality is to render justice delivery 'null and void'? So, how does the ordinary citizen access their UNHCR right to access and receive justice? When did justice 'kick in'? Or, is it deemed that 'Justice must wait': wait till when, one might ask? Until we are all dying or dead?

What ever happened to 'Justice delayed is Justice denied'? Surely that is relevant now?

Previously, the courts were a 'Den of Might is Right' and money the facilitator. Witnessed at first hand. Corrupt magistrates held sway (in a few places) and they had done so for years, pulling the strings of most in their immediate vicinity. Corrupt lawyers did likewise: add in a smidgin of corrupt Police Prosecutors and attendant Court Clerks for a good rise? Those who sought justice were not even afforded functioning restrooms: in An Age of Typhoid!

Let us get this clear: Justice was 'out-the-window'! There are a number of eye-witnesses to this effect and they have not lightly arrived at their conclusion: twenty-eight (28) mentions and adjournments to arrive at a judgement in a case of Robbery with Violence in the street of a prominent town? Trials vacated and lawyers gone AWOL, offered four week adjournments on a plate or a whim? Or worse? Clunky gold bracelets, necklaces and rings worn in court by Officers of the Court? And that is still reportedly going on? Despite the more sober and appropriate dress.

We are, after all, in the matter of Due Process and the Delivery of Justice: no small thing. A sober thing.

The DPP's Office and all who sail in it must be above suspicion and completely impartial and independent. Their Code of Conduct must be the strictest in the Land. No breaches or.....OUT. Yes, their assets and liabilities are to be declared. For future reference.

Why or how Transparency International Fiji Board has failed to insist upon this is a question yet to be answered. It ought to have been insisted upon. It was not.

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga