31 Jul 2012

Judgement in case of Fiji's Qarase due today

4:18 am on 31 July 2012

The judge in the trial of Fiji's ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase is due to make his judgement today.

Assessors have already recommended the politician be found guilty on corruption-related charges, dating back to 1991 when Mr Qarase was with the Fiji Development Bank.

Our correspondent Ricardo Morris reports from Suva.

"The three assessors in the High Court trial found Mr Qarase guilty of six charges of abuse of office, and three charges relating to discharge of duty as a public servant for property in which he had a private interest. The prosecution alleged he applied for shares in Fijian Holdings Limited on behalf of companies his family owned or that he represented, depriving others of the same opportunity. Mr Qarase was charged under Fiji's obsolete Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence for abuse of office of three years. The case was first brought to court in 2008 and the trial lasted fifteen days."