Information has emerged over the mistreatment of police officers, under Police Commissioner, Esala Teleni.
Sources have told Coupfourpointfive of two incidents, where Teleni sacked officers because he was angry.
The latest incident happened over the Easter weekend. Since April 10, officials from the Interim Government’s Ministry of Information have been allowed to enter media newsrooms and censor all news.
Every official designated to a particular newsroom is accompanied by a policeman in full uniform.
Sources have told Coupfourpointfive that on Easter Saturday (11th April), senior police officers were looking for officers to accompany Ministry of Information Censors to the different newsrooms.
Police Director of Operations, Waisea Tabakau and his deputy Irami Raibe were on duty at Central Police Station on that day.
Coupfourpointfive has been told that Police Commissioner Esala Teleni, only allowed officers who had knowledge of how a newsroom operates, to be assigned to duties with the Censors. But being the Easter long weekend, Tabakau and Raibe couldn’t find the people they needed.
Tabakau was told that the only ones on duty that had some know-how about the media, were officers of the Special Branch. So he assigned them to accompany the Censors. The Special Branch officers do not wear police uniforms while on duty and are always in plain clothes.
According to sources, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ema Mua(a former Radio Fiji reporter), told the interim government’s Permanent Secretary for Information, Lieutenant-Colonel Neumi Leweni, that the Special Branch officers would accompany the Censors.
Neumi Leweni then called Esala Teleni, to tell him that Special Branch officers were to work with the Information Ministry Censors.
Our sources say immediately after hearing this, Teleni ordered that his
Commissioner’s vehicle be diverted to the Central Police Station (CPS).
At CPS, Teleni went straight to the operations room, told Waisea Tabakau and Irami Raibe that he did not want Special Branch officers to be on duty with the Censors, and verbally sacked them. He then told them to leave the operations room immediately.
Our sources say that after Teleni left and was on the road to Navua again, Waisea Tabakau called Neumi Leweni and told him what had just happened. Neumi Leweni then called Esala Teleni and spoke to him about the issue. And before the end of Easter Saturday, Waisea Tabakau and Irami Raibe were re-instated.
Sources say this has been Esala Teleni’s modus operandi of shooting from the hip. They say he treats his officers like dogs and wants to show that he is the only one who is allowed to have the loudest bark.
Before Easter, Esala Teleni verbally sacked a CID officer who was in charge of investigations into two journalists who allegedly broke the Public Emergency Regulations.
Sources say the officer was sacked because he could not find evidence to charge Fiji TV's Edwin Nand and Pita Ligaula of PACNEWS.
The officer was told to go home, but returned a few days later.