Special court to deal with drug-related offences only

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Attorney-General Siromi Turaga speaking during the opening of the border control training workshop at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service office in Suva yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

Attorney-General Siromi Turaga has highlighted the possibility of setting up a special court to deal with drug-related offences only.

However, he said this was only a proposal at this stage.

“The special court, that was raised by the police,” he said.

“I have liaised with the Office of the Chief Justice, and we have asked for stats. We can’t just (set it up) because of this one bust.

“If the stats do support, then we will look into it, but that’s a possibility.”

When questioned about drug trials being impacted by missing exhibits, Mr Turaga said he was aware that some police stations in the country were lacking proper facilities to house exhibits.

“Having been a magistrate, there is no police station around the country that has proper exhibit rooms, I can tell you that for a fact,” Mr Turaga said.

He commended the state-of-the-art building in Nadi, which he said was much better than other stations.

“In Namaka, just beside the cell, there is just one room; everything lumped together and that is where the cocaine disappeared.

“It’s not new. It’s been going on. Sometimes when you have court cases, then you have the IO looking for exhibits but with these new state-of-the-art buildings — there is one in Nakasi, one in Nadi and one in Lautoka — I think there is vast improvement in that.

“We are grateful to the previous Government for those three buildings, but we need one in Vanua Levu.

Police work in a very stressful environment so when they come to the office, at least the office should be conducive enough and we’ll have to build from where FijiFirst left in terms of development in infrastructure and we are happy with the development partners.”