The Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, (“DPP”) asked the High Court to issue an arrest warrant to compel the attendance of a police officer to appear before the court yesterday morning (9.11.20) in a home invasion case from 2018 that resulted in serious injuries to the two male victims and 1 female victim who were attacked with a cane knife and pinch bar in their home.
Two other arrest warrants were sought for other witnesses that police had
failed to produce in court.
The DPP said that “as a result of the failure of police officers to adequately
caution the accused and as a result of the police officer’s failure to attend court, I had no option but to file a nolle prosequi and discontinue the matter.
It is of increasing concern that police officers are failing to properly caution suspects on their right to silence upon arrest.
This basic right which is afforded to all suspects must be properly given and when it is not given properly, any statements made are likely to be ruled inadmissible by the court.
Police officers, like any other witnesses, must respect a court summons to appear and give evidence.
Police officers who show a lack of respect for the court and its
procedures by failing to attend not only let themselves down but let victims of crime down.
There is no excuse for this behaviour.”
In an unrelated matter, a second nolle prosequi was filed in court this morning (10.11.20) by the DPP for a street mugging of an elderly woman at the Suva Bus Stand in September after police lost critical evidence in the case and the Suva City Council deleted the CCTV footage.