1 Aug 2012

Public reaction on Qarase guilty verdict hard to gauge says Ganilau

8:27 am on 1 August 2012

Fiji's ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase is on bail awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of corruption related charges in a Suva court.

Yesterday, Justice Priyantha Fernando concurred with assessors' findings on Monday that the 72 year-old is guilty of all nine charges against him.

The Suva High Court was packed and about 200 people spilled waited outside the capital's Government Buildings in anticipation of the ruling.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption brought the charges against Mr Qarase.

A former interim Minister of Defence and Immigration, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says it will be hard to gauge the reactions to the guilty verdict as people have no voice in Fiji.

"The government says the judiciary is independent and the views of the people again is pretty hard to engage whether they would agree with that or not because not much public view is entertained through the media and the newspapers in particular but all we see and hear is the view of the government, if you were to ask the individual Fijian on the street, you may have a different opinions and yet we don't get to see much of that reported in the papers."

Ratu Epeli Ganilau.