Josefa Bilitak i(60) has now confirmed that he sent an angry text message to the Prime Minister’s phone last Friday about the unauthorised use of his songs during the recent election campaign.
Later that night a police officer and four soldiers turned up at his house and took him to another location where one of the soldiers punched and slapped him in the face and mouth, bashed his head against a windscreen, and threatened to kill him.
The local media has produced a sanitised version of this emphasizing he committed the “alleged offence of annoyance”. and trying to ignore the assault by soldiers who have no authority under the constitution to enforce the law in individual cases. This was not a threat to the nation of Fiji.
Our new police commissioner Ben Groenewald visited Josefa while he was in hospital being treated for high blood pressure as a result of the assault and is reported as saying “The allegation of assault against Mr Bilitaki is void of all truth,”
He is skating around the truth and is using Josefas refusal to lay a complaint as evidence he was not assaulted. His bruises and split lip are conveniently ignored. He is asking the public to report any evidence of the assault but as Josefa was first removed to another location before the assault he knows there will be no new evidence.
Our new police commissioner Ben Groenewald is showing all the signs of being a lackey to the military and not having the fortitude and gumption to publicly state that the signs and statements by Josefa Bilitaki and his daughter need investigating.
The following questions need answering:
1. How were the police and military informed of Josefa Bilitakis texts to the Prime Minister. Was a formal complaint laid or was a phone call made and by whom?
2. Why did the texts require instant action within an hour of being sent when getting a police officer to visit after a burglary or domestic assault normally takes days?
3. Why did it take a police officer and four soldiers to arrest a 60 year old man with serious medical issues?
4. Why was the army involved in breach of the constitution? Did the Prime Minister or his office directly request action from the army?
5. When did the split lip and bruises occur if not during his time in police custody? His daughter stated he had no injuries before he was taken away.
6. Why was Josefa Bilitakis refusal to lay a complaint taken at face value when their were obvious signs of an assault?
7.Why is our new Police Commissioner failing to achieve the standards we require of our police force?
I have just received a legal opinion that muddies the waters.
If Josefa Bilitaki was texting Frank over royalties for songs used by FijiFirst then this was communicating with Frank as the President of FijiFirst and was in relation to a civil case. If Frank responded with the authority he has as Prime Minister then he may have committed a criminal offence. The most likely charge would be “abuse of power”.
Unfortunately Frank has immunity until next Monday when Parliament sits.