The President of Fiji has suspended the country’s chief of police and its head of prison services following advice from the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC).
The Fiji government has confirmed Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho and corrections services boss Frances Kean have been “suspended effective immediately”.
The two will remain suspended pending an investigation by a special tribunal which is yet to be established.
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President Wiliame Katonivere has appointed Assistant Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew as acting commissioner and Salote Panapasa as the acting head of prisons.
The decision to suspend both Qiliho and Kean was made at the COC meeting yesterday which resulted in the former prime minister and now opposition leader Voreqe Bainimarama walking out of the meeting with his nominee in the commission.
The suspension comes just a month after Fiji’s new coalition government — led by Sitiveni Rabuka — ousted the FijiFirst government from power.
FijiVillage News reports that the COC advice was conveyed to the President by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka as chairperson.
The relevant officers have been notified of their appointments and suspensions respectively.
His Excellency, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has suspended the Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho and the Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service Francis Kean on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC) effective immediately.#FijiNews pic.twitter.com/KZCKpmKmh2
— Fiji Government (@FijiGovernment) January 27, 2023