Police watchdog vows to penalize individual cops

The National Integrity Commission (NIC) Sunday vowed to investigate and take action against individual police officers if found guilty of violations in the line of duty.

The statement comes over the continued insistence by police that individual officers would not be held liable for actions while on duty.

The head of NIC Yusuf Maniu said told Avas that the commission was already investigating such complaints. He said that the NIC reserves the legal right to take measures against officers who were acting in a way that could be threat to national security.

"We will investigate matters of individual police officers, whether the case was filed to us by the public or a fellow officer. We even have the legal right to initiate our own investigation," Maniu said.

He further said that measures would definitely be taken against police officers who have acted outside their legal boundaries, and that the entire police service would be penalized if the whole institution is found in violation of the law.

"We will take harsh action against any who infringe the code of conduct and violates the law," Maniu stressed..

NIC has received numerous reports of police officers who have been accused of breaking the law at protests organised by the main opposition, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The case of an officer grabbing the arm of Parliament Member Rozeina Adam is among the complaints.

When the matters were first filed in the NIC, the police had released a statement declaring that the cases could not be filed. Police described the complaints as threats to impede its duty to enforce the law.