16 Sep 2006

Fiji's Prime Minister summoned to appear in Suva High Court

6:58 am on 16 September 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has been summoned to appear in the Suva High Court to give evidence in a case involving the 13-million US dollar agriculture ministry scam in 2001.

Also summoned to appear are the Speaker of parliament, Pita Nacuva, seven cabinet ministers and former ministers as well as senior civil servants and the provincial paramount chief jailed for life for inciting mutiny, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

Justice Nazhat Shameem has approved the summons to subpoena the 33 witnesses on the application of Suva lawyer, Tevita Fa.

Mr Fa is representing the former permanent secretary of the agriculture ministry, Peniasi Kunatuba, who was blamed for the scam and sacked from his job.

Mr Fa has alleged that money in the 13-million US dollar scam was used to buy votes in the 2001 general election.