The Police were still very reluctant, until I casually mentioned that I would solicit the assistance of the High Commission, write to the Chief Justice, Commissioner of Police and even to the Lieutenant Colonel himself, about how I had been deprived of the use of my goods while awaiting a prosecution of a burglar who had been arrested and lost again.
Finally it was agreed that they would photograph the evidence and return it to me. I should return at 1130. So I did, and at about 1235 my property was retrieved from the evidence room and photographed. At that time I had to renegotiate the laptop, as they clearly wanted to hold on to it. In the end they gave me everything, at least everything I am aware they had. i still think it is odd that only the laptop was recovered from the first robbery, when the robber had cooperated with them.
Despite the dust and mildew, I was glad to see it all. Even as we went through everything to check that it was there, one of the coppers was holding up my tee shirts and asking me which he could take for himself. "Nothing" said I. Then I quoted a local television advert; "Corruption is a crime". I softened the blow by pointing out that any such gesture on my part at this stage might be construed as corruption, though clearly that was not what was intended… Like hell. He didn’t even have the grace to blush. Besides I owed him nothing. He had given me no support, merely kept asking when I was leaving Fiji, making me feel very uneasy about the prospect of getting back my stuff at all. It was mainly my growing conviction (paranoia?) that they were trying to out-wait me, that made me determined to risk pissing them off and insist that my property be returned to me.
Maybe I will shout some beers to Isireli later…