6 Jul 2007

Investigation to continue into corruption charges against former Fiji PM

9:55 am on 6 July 2007

Investigations into allegations of corruption against the deposed Fiji prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, will continue despite his statements that the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption is illegal.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has told Radio Legend the interim administration is only following the mandate set out by President Iloilo to fight and eradicate corruption and will not be deterred by Mr Qarase's comments.

The outgoing chief investigator of the Commission Against Corruption, Superintendent Nasir Ali, had revealed earlier that Mr Qarase was under investigation in relation to certain allegations of corruption.

The Commission's media spokesperson, Loraini Seru, says some high profile individuals are under investigation but would not say if Mr Qarase is one of them.

Mr Qarase says if the Commission has any allegations against him, it would not stand a chance in court because the decree to establish the anti-corruption unit is illegal.

Fiji police are also awaiting assistance from INTERPOL in their investigation into allegations that Mr Qarase requested military invention from Australia and New Zealand on and before December 5.

Under Fiji law, this would be a treasonous offence.

Meanwhile, Mr Qarase, who has been on his home island in the Lau Group since the military takeover, says he is in no hurry to return to Suva.