August 01, 2012
Families, supporters await Qarase ruling
August 01, 2012 10:06:57 AM
Families and well wishers of former Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) board director Laisenia Qarase have lined up outside the High Court in Suva and are desperately awaiting the ruling of Judge Justice Priyantha Fernando.
Justice Fernando yesterday upheld the assessors' decision and convicted the former Prime Minister for corruption related charges.
He is convicted of of six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharge of duty with respect to a property in which he has a private interest.
This morning, Qarase’s lawyer Tupou Draunidalo is expected to call four to five character witnesses and she is also expected to present her submission on the sentencing.
The maximum sentence for abuse of office is three years imprisonment while the charge of discharging his duty with respect to property in which he has a private interest carries the maximum sentence of one year imprisonment.
Justice Fernando will rule on Qarase’s sentence after going through the submissions.
It was alleged that Qarase between 1992 to 2000 while employed as a director of Fijian Holdings Limited, Financial Advisor of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs, in abuse of the authority of his office, did arbitrary acts.
He was alleged to have applied in the name of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited, Mavana Investments Limited and a family owned company named Q-Ten Investments Limited for the issuance and allotment of Class A shares in Fijian Holdings Limited.
More than 200 people are lined up while there is tight security around the High Court complex with Police and Military presence.
More to follow.....
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