ATTORNEY GENERAL WELCOMES THE SUPREME COURT RULINGS ON POWERS OF THE POLICE COMMISSIONER

The Attorney General Hon Ano Pala, MP today welcomed the rulings of the Supreme Court on the power of the Commissioner of Police.

This ruling on the interpretation of the constitution in relation to the powers of the Police Commissioner is indeed significant and positive for administration of the Police Force. So often the work and conduct of the Police has been undermined and these rulings today by the higher Courts has shed clarity of the Commissioner’s powers.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Police Commissioner has authority to issue directions to other members of the Police Force regarding criminal investigations, including applying for arrest and search warrants, laying charges and presenting information.

The Attorney General also welcomes the ruling on the question of whether warrant of Arrest issued by District courts are Court Orders. This again provides clarity on the judicial functions of the lower court system in the country.

This means that the Police Commissioner cannot withdraw or stop the execution of the warrant of arrest. However the Police Commissioner is entitled to direct his officers or members of Police Force to withdraw it or alternatively he can do so by way of Judicial .Review in National Court.

It is now up to the Police Commissioner to exercise his powers. That decision he alone makes.

The court also ruled that the Police Commissioner has the standing to challenge any warrant of arrest in a superior court.

There are now rumors on social media that as result of the Supreme Court ruling the Prime Minister can be arrested. This is false, and I wish to warm those people, including Sam Koim not to mislead the people.

An arrest or execution of the Warrant of Arrest has been stayed by the National Court pending the Judicial Review filed by the Commissioner of Police.

This is still in force. Those who might attempt to carry out the execution of Warrant of Arrest can be subject to contempt of Court Order.

The National Court decided that during the Judicial Review application filed by the Police Commissioner, invoke questions of constitutional nature, and therefore must be referred to the Supreme court for interpretation.

This is what has been done today and now the Judiciary review can proceed.

Authorised for release by:

Hon Ano Pala, CMG MP

Attorney General