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South African diplomat released under diplomatic privileges

October 4, 2015 1:31 am

Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald has confirmed a 59 year old diplomat from the office of the South African High Commission was involved in a fatal accident on Edinburgh drive in Suva on Friday night.

It is believed the diplomat’s car collided with an on-coming vehicle resulting in the death of a 26-year-old man.

Groenewald says the Diplomat was being kept at Totogo Police Station, after an alcohol test was done.

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Groenewald then informed his Director Traffic and the investigation officer about the diplomat’s privileges and immunity.

The diplomat was then taken to hospital for the necessary prescribed medical checks and released.

Groenewald has clarified that the diplomat is entitled to diplomatic immunity under the terms of the Vienna Convention 1961.

Article 29 of the Eight Schedule states that a person, of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable and not be liable to any form of arrest or detention.

The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.

The diplomat was at no stage arrested and locked in police cells.

He says investigation will continue and his immunity from the jurisdiction will be dealt with in terms of the Articles of the Vienna Convention.

Meanwhile, Groenewald has also confirmed the same diplomat was also assaulted outside the High Commission a fortnight ago.

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