State should say sorry!

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The conspiracy to murder charge against businessman Ballu Khan has been permanently stayed by the High Court. This means in effect that Mr Khan is free of this charge that has so affected his life and business for more than a year. Mr Khan was arrested by police and soldiers after which he spent several weeks in hospital. His home and business were raided by police and various items removed. Tape recorded conversations between him and his wife became public knowledge. He was severely and very publicly humiliated. Despite all of that we now find that there is insufficient evidence to justify a trial. What took the authorities so long to admit that this investigation was so badly bungled? Mr Khan is at the very least owed an apology by the state which has turned his life inside out and upside down over a period of many months. His business no doubt suffered equally as he was at first in custody, then released on bail and yesterday – finally – told he was a free man. A hefty compensation claim against the police and the state appears inevitable. Mr Khan, understandably, just wants to get out of Fiji and never return but that will surely not be the end of the matter. This is an extremely embarrassing episode for the police, the military and the whole system of criminal justice. In fact it speaks volumes for the need to restore to the police force its independence as an investigating authority, an independence that has been seriously eroded since the 2006 coup. The interim government and its National Council for Building a Better Fiji has established transparency as a cornerstone of the truly egalitarian society they seek to establish. Here, then, is a perfect opportunity for the government to practise what it has been preaching these last 23 months. There now needs to be a thorough and public inquiry into how and why Mr Khan was arrested in the first place, why he was treated in the way that he was and why nothing was done or said when his human rights were so blatantly trampled on. The same inquiry should also examine the behaviour of the authorities towards Mr Khan’s legal counsel which in any civilised country with respect for its own law was quite unacceptable. Of course there will be no such inquiry and no such transparency. For all the talk of transparency, accountability and general good governance, this regime which grabbed power at gunpoint clearly has no intention of implementing any of its motherhood declarations when it comes to its own errors and shortcomings while insisting that others – not least the media – must be more “responsible.” Mr Khan’s ordeal at the hands of the police and the military and subsequently at the hands of the criminal justice system will not be easily forgotten. It only serves to further undermine public confidence in the disciplined services and in the whole system of justice. Nothing short of genuine transparency can be expected to restore it.

Fiji Sun Editorial 13/11/08

18 Responses to “State should say sorry!”

  1. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Remember fullchow teletubby said that Mr Khan only had minor injuries; 12 months later he is still receiving treatment for these minor injuries.

    Justice Bruce put great emphasis on the failure of the police to act properly on many accounts in this sorry saga. There is only one ‘person’ to blame; fullchow teleni, the demented deckhand.

    His inexperience and desperation to create a ‘beat-up’ to deflect the media attention away from bananasinpyjamas’ stuff-ups are the caause of the people of Fiji having to pay out millions in compensation.

    A real policeman would resign after being proven inefficient by a judge. Let’s hope so.

    BTW. perhaps tellytubby could lay charges against the thuggs who Beat Mr Khan now that the case has fallen apart.

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    eye um youze prum minsta , I’s wull tell yuz whend der willz bees a vestgation into diz mattas . I has bin given da orthortee of da state to makes da decisthune bouts it and many udda imorptent things i fijdgee . I wantsz uses to knows dats I , as usez prum minsta , and misnta for all tings shiney , thats i wilz do ma bestest for uses in dis riguds . thaks for listnings to meeze my beloved peeeeeples of fidgeeee.

  3. Dauvavana Says:

    ex FT, you could have wrote “demented dickhead” instead and it would still be appropriate for full chow teleni!!

  4. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Well bloggers, we all knew these charges were all trumped up anyway. What is becoming the hallmark of this illegal regime is that they have no moral qualms about fabricating charges against innocent civilians just because they perceive them as threats to their rule or want to intimidate them into submission.

    They don’t care one iota about the compensation that will follow because it does not come out of their pockets, as the taxpayers are left to foot the bill.

    What will this bastard Aiyaz say now? Where was this big mouth when these fabricated charges were laid?

    Why didn’t he override the decision of ketepoka Teleni to lay charges against these allegedly conspirators?

    See the lame excuse out by by Shaista! This decision too would be egg on her face!

    Bull shits always pay back in heaps!

  5. raqiqi Says:

    …serves him right, came into Fiji behaving like a multi billianaire but in reality had no money, colluded aginst Digicel and interfered into provincial matters!!! what comes around goes around Ballu” !!!Fiji will never miss u becuse you brot nothing but trouble!! Au revoir!!!!

  6. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    The green goon @ 11:53 above should spend his time more productively than writing rubbish.

    Perhaps he could go and ask tellytubby if has solved the following crimes:-

    * arson of the judge’s house; the judge who ruled that injustice gates had miscarried justice by telling people at a party that he was going to put someone away – 2 months before any evidence was heard in the trial

    * bomb hoax at a political party meeting last year

    * 3 death threat letters to the Australian High Commissioner

    * stuffing of foreign objects up the rear end of injustice gates [‘s car]

    * breaking in and robbery at the pretend AG’s house

    * treason charges laid against bananasinpyjamas and fullchow himself

    * bomb hoax at the courthouse a few weeks ago

    * the bashing and murder of numerous Fijian citizens

    * etc

    When the green goon finds out the answers, please come back and let us know what tellytubby has to say.

  7. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    For the record, this is what we posted on the FT today:

    Yesterday’s decision by Mr Justice Andrew Bruce of the High Court was a great day for Fiji because it went a long way to restoring the public’s confidence in our judiciary and in the rule of law in accordance with our Constitution.

    It was also a great day because the judgement delivered a stinging rebuke to our military-backed regime, which orchestrated the arrest and charging of Khan one year ago and allowed its thugs to violently bash and torture him.

    Thanks to Justice Bruce, and no thanks to our discredited Human Rights Commissioner, Shaista Shameem,the protection of human rights in our nation is once again being observed at the official level.

    The next phase in this unfolding drama will be the reaction of the dictator and his supporters. Will Ballu Khan be allowed to leave the country, as is his stated intention, or will he be the target for more underhand treatment?

    Will Police Commissioner Teleni take action to bring to justice those of his officers who engaged in the beating of Ballu Khan, an act of criminality which was clearly identified in yesterday’s judgement? And what about the military? Will it, as usual, ignore the unlawful actions of its officers?

    Yes, yesterday’s judgement was a momentous day for our country as we near the end of the second painful year of the Bainimarama dictatorship.

    The delivery of clear, cool-headed justice, as demonstrated in Justice Bruce’s ruling, stands out like a like a bright, shining beacon in a pitch black night.

    It is in blinding contrast to the illegality, deceipt, hurt and injustice that Bainimarama and his cronies have so consistently and heartlessly institutionalised since their armed overthrow of our democratically elected government on 5 December 2006.

    The men, women and children of our beloved Fiji Islands deserve so much better. But when will they get it?

  8. NAVOSAVAKADUA Says:

    In relation to Justice Andrew Bruce putting a stay on the regime’s case against Ballu Khan and allowing the millionaire businessman to walk out of the court a free man, I want to draw bloggers’ attention to a news item that appeared some 14 months ago in the Fiji Times on 24 September 2007, and a ray of hope:

    “An Australian lawyer has been appointed to Fiji’s High Court.

    “Andrew Bruce, who practises as a Queen’s counsel in Hong Kong, was appointed to the role by Fiji’s interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

    “Bruce specialises in public and constitutional law, criminal law, contracts and commercial disputes, trading and market misconduct matters. He is currently a member of the academic board of the University of Hong Kong.

    “‘He will be here on an ad hoc basis, so basically as and when he is required, he will be brought in to address specific issues. There may be a backlog for example in Lautoka and he will be brought in to address that,’ Sayed-Khaiyum told the Fiji Times.”

    Now I don’t know what you think, but I see an interesting little situation developing here. On the one hand, by his own admission, Sayed-Khaiyum has tagged Justice Andrew Bruce as a judge who would be hand-picked for specific cases or venues. On the other, we have the Australian judge not only setting Ballu Khan free, but declaring in court that our police and our military violated Ballu’s Khan’s liberty which, of course, we all know they did, big time.

    So are the green goons going to take this sitting down? Or are they going to torch Judge Bruce’s house like that did Justice Gordon Ward’s house in August 2007? And then’s there’s the police. Is Teleni going to launch an internal investigation into the formally declared gross criminality of his officers (formally declared by a judge, no less!)?

    In my view, any police commissioner who learns that a High Court judge has declared his officers offside with the law should act immediately. But in Teleni’s case, of course, don’t hold your breath. He’s Frank’s man first, and he comes a long last as a policeman when it comes to upholding the law, as he has already demonstrated.

    Bloggers, for the time being my money is on Judge Bruce, who sounds like an astute legal eagle who is very jealous of his professional reputation and will protect it at all costs. After witnessing the fallout of the Gates manipulation in the Qarase Vs Bainimarama case, Judge Bruce knows only too well that Fiji’s judiciaery is under the international spotlight and for a member of that judiciary to err in law is to kiss your career goodbye, unless you’ll accept an appointment in Zimbabwe, that is!

    Judge Bruce appears to be Just the sort of judge our judiciary needs, but is he the type of judge that Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum thought they were getting? I don’t think so.

    So how will those shameless desperadoes (Bainimarama, Sayed-Khaiyum and Teleni) deal with the inevitable fallout from the ruling of this forthright and fearless Australian judge? Will Ballu Khan successfully sue them for millions? Will the brave Judge Bruce be told his contract has been terminated? Will Sayed-Khaiyum start swinging from branches while eating bananas?

    Bloggers, these are weighty question to which I have no answers. Justice Bruce’s ruling is not a compliant ruling like the bestowing of sweet immunity and legal justification that Justice Gates handed down on 9 October. No way. This ruling is a rude and sharp slap on the face of our ungodly regime.

    So what will come of it? We’ll just have to wait and see.

  9. LUVfiji Says:

    Hear! Hear! @raqiqi.. you nailed it on that one; good and proper !! I dont support the actions of the military but Ballu had it coming.

    G’bye

  10. Avoro Says:

    The highest court in the land has passed judgement.

    While we must accept such findings we may also ask the question is our laws designed to attire the wolfhounds in robes and the honest or poor in rags.

    The common people must at all cost keep at bay these wolfhounds of money; they have dogged the nation thus far.

    We than ask ourselves is “the highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when his not”.

  11. woilei Says:

    LUVfiji – I am surprised at you ! Hey I dont like the man myself, but what he endured I would not wish on any living soul ….. the principle of the matter is what is at the heart of this.

  12. LUVfiji Says:

    Oilei.. @woilei – same diff , sweetie! What you just said is exactly what I meant!

  13. Budhau Says:

    They wanted to damage Ballu Khan, both physically and financially and they succeeded.
    They wanted to send a message to the rest of Fiji…”that don’t even think about it’ – and they succeeded.

    There objective was to intimidate the population into submission – they succeeded.

    JW, it wasn’t about the charges being fabricated – what the judge seem to be saying is that under the circumstances, the man ain’t gonna get justice, he has suffered enough, and some of the evidence of conspiracy that the state had, ,has been destroyed. If they had just arrested him and charged him with whatever they wanted to charge him with the proper way – he would still be there facing those charges – he could have still walked after being found not guilty, that is still months down the line.

    Now…why don’t you guys go find out more about Mr. Khan and what his business interests were in Fiji.

    BTW..I also feel bad for the guy, no one deserves this – but just wait and see, the next time we have a coup, there will be other Ballu Khans treated in the same manner.

  14. Isalei Says:

    Methinks the Budas and co are just plain jealous of Ballu Khan or anyone who dares to be a millionaire or who accumulates wealth in Fiji. Vuvu, veiqati! They think that everyone who’s gotten that far, did so thru corruption. And this is exactly why they are doing the same..stealing from the coffers, getting themselves bullshit overdue leave pays. Coz they couldn’t stand doing nothing at the camp and not sharing in the spoils. Only difference, others did it through sweat and the rule of law, buda and co shortcut thru rule of the gun!

  15. Kingrat Says:

    isalei o raqiqi kei na nona vakasama vovodea

  16. raqiqi Says:

    @kingrat, what I said was all factsbecause I was affected by this man’s dishonest dealings! he deserves what he got period!!!!he played with fire! he got burned!! maleka! lako sara ga yani sega na isa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Budhau Says:

    Isalei – all I said was that the military succeeded in what they set out to do – damage Ballu Khan physically and financially.
    I didn’t say that what they did was right, or that Khan deserved what he got.
    As far as “making money through sweat” …I guess that is why you ain’t rich. You see Isalei, you don’t have to work hard, you just have to work smart. And what makes you think that I am not a millionaire also – did Duana tell you that.

  18. Dauvavana Says:

    yeah the first dalit to make a million (cents) pushing shit

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