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PM orders investigation against rogue officers

April 4, 2019 12:58 pm
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [top, left] AND INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR MELANIE REID, NEWSROOM CO-EDITOR MARK JENNINGS AND CAMERAMAN HAYDEN AULL

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has ordered an investigation into actions of Police officers who were involved in the detainment of three New Zealand journalists.

The three are Newsroom co-editor Mark Jennings, investigation editor Melanie Reid and cameraman Hayden Aull.

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These journalists who are in the country to report on the recent charges brought by the Fijian government on Freesoul Real Estate Development was detained by police for questioning last night.

The company is carrying out a multi-million dollar investment on Malolo Island in the Mamanucas.

However, upon learning of this situation Bainimarama says he demanded their immediate release.

The Prime Minister made it clear that media has been an ally in accountability, helping to expose the Freesoul’s illegal environmental destruction.

I have spoken with the Commissioner for Police who has assured me the detention of these journalists was an isolated incident undertaken by a small group of rogue officers. A full investigation into why these officers would use such heavy-handed tactics will be undertaken, and any violations of protocol or undue influence will be met with appropriate action.

Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya says they will await for the outcome of the investigation on the police officers in question.

“As far as the release of the journalists is concerned the Prime Minister making that statement this morning, we as a parliament have accepted that statement and we just move forward to then wait for the disciplinary procedures of the police department before we can even make any judgment on the behavior of the police officers.”

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