Turaga addresses case management challenges

May 17, 2024 6:58 am

Attorney General Siromi Turaga

The Attorney General Siromi Turaga, says they are dealing with the case management in terms of illicit drugs.

Speaking during the National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium, Turaga says some of the cases in court can last for seven, eight, nine, or even more years.

Turaga says the Acting Chief Justice has taken steps to ensure the judiciary officers are accountable for the cases they have.

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However, he adds that at the end of the month, there are statistics on the pending cases.

Therefore, he adds that they are looking at reducing the timeframe and, at the same time, looking at some of the other logistics within the judiciary.

“Everybody is ready to help and assist the Fiji Police Force and other agencies . we can combat this united we stand and divided we fall.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Meli Vosawale says the office of the director of public prosecution will continue to push on with drug cases that are referred to the DPP’s office.

He says cases that have been investigated by police get transferred to them as they are at the very deep end of the investigation.

Vosawale says from 2017 to 2023, they’ve had 78 cases of unlawful cultivation of illicit drugs.

“66 counts of unlawful possession of illicit drugs, 7 counts of unlawful importation of illicit drugs, 1 count of attempted importation, 6 counts of exportation, 2 counts of attempted exportation, and 6 counts of unlawful use of illicit drugs.”

Vosawale says these are cases that have been referred to the DPP’s office.

However, he adds that the police prosecution has other cases as well, as they prosecute under the Illicit Drugs Control Act.

Vosawale says they have pushed and prosecuted the matters in the courts and have gotten higher penalties in terms of hard drugs and unlawful cultivation.