15 Jul 2009

Qarase travel bid opposed by Fiji anti-corruption body

4:50 pm on 15 July 2009

Fiji's anti-corruption agency is opposed to allowing the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to go overseas, saying it could be a threat to national security.

According to the website Fijivillage, this comes as Mr Qarase has requested variations to his bail conditions as he intends to travel.

FICAC has charged Mr Qarase with five counts of abuse of office.

But the lawyer for the FICAC agency says every time Mr Qarase travels abroad, he speaks to the international media and his statements can be a threat to national security.

The lawyer says Mr Qarase, once abroad, could breach the emergency regulations without fear of being prosecuted.

The lawyer says the welfare of the nation should be paramount.

He also disclosed that Mr Qarase had twice breached his bail conditions by leaving Suva for his home island in the Lau group.

A court ruling on his travel application is expected next week.