POLICE Commissioner Frank Prendergast has confirmed he has reinstated a senior officer facing drink driving charges, and whose case is yet to be determined in court.
But Mr Prendergast dismissed accusations he listened to wrong advice when he made that decision.
This was in relation to Sergeant Edwin Sevoa of the Police Response Team (PRT), who allegedly got involved in a traffic accident on 20 September 2014 while he was under the influence of alcohol.
Sevoa was subsequently charged with drink and drive, careless driving, driving under influence of liquor and causing accident.
Sgt Sevoa was interdicted and suspended on half pay while waiting for his case to be determined in the magistrates court.
But a senior police officer who was familiar with the case told the Solomon Star while the case is still in progress, Mr Prendergast decided to reinstate Mr Sevoa although his case is still before the court.
The senior officer, who requested not to be named, claimed the decision to reinstated Sevoa while his case is pending is the first of its kind to happen in the RSIPF.
“I don’t think the decision to reinstate this officer was made in the best interest of the police and the country,” the officer said.
“I think his decision was based on wrong advice he received from the Director of National Response Department,” the officer added.
The officer said since this is a police case, it must be allowed to be determined in a court of law.
“The commissioner only has powers to deal with issues under the provisions of the Police Act and internal matters, not criminal or traffic offences,” the officer said.
However, Mr Prendergast stated his decision was based on his own assessment and the facts surrounding the case.
The Commissioner pointed out that the decision to reinstate the Officer in question has no bearing on the disciplinary matter or the traffic case which will still proceed as normal.
He said that since commencing as Commissioner he has been very firm in respect of discipline and accountability and nothing about his handling of this matter is inconsistent with that stance.
By ELLIOT DAWEA