Monday, 25 May 2009 - 4:48pm |
National News

Canterbury Police District statement on the funeral of Tala Seleni.

1 min read

Canterbury police wish to clarify reports about police actions at the funeral of Tala Seleni, which took place in Dallington on May 15 2009.

Police maintained a discrete presence at this event because Mr Seleni's son, Tasi Seleni, was wanted on serious charges.

Arrangements for how officers would be there were discussed and agreed with the family's Presbyterian Minister at Hornby police station prior to the event. These arrangements were welcomed by the family.

On the day the nearest officers at St Paul's Church were in plainclothes and located at least 400 meters away. The nearest Armed Offenders Squad officers and dog handlers were located several blocks away and well out of sight. Police stress they were not in the church or in the grounds of St Paul's church.

Later, at the Memorial Park cemetery, police kept a discrete watch at a distance but, contrary to some reports, there were no armed officers or police dogs present there during the burial.

Police can confirm that Armed Offenders staff spoke to the occupants of two vehicles at the entrance to Memorial Park Cemetery but had left the vicinity well before the arrival of the funeral procession."

Police maintain that all steps were taken to ensure a discrete presence at the funeral which did not disrupt or interfere with the dignity of the occasion.

It would appear that adverse reports have arisen because the priest who conducted the funeral service was unaware of the arrangements already made with the family's minister.

The presence of armed officers, several blocks from the funeral service, reflected the serious nature of the offences on which Tasi Seleni was wanted.