19 Sep 2012

Jailed Fiji leader's appeal case to begin next month

12:21 pm on 19 September 2012

The former Fiji prime minister jailed for corruption has begun an appeal against his conviction.

Laisenia Qarase was sentenced in July to a year in prison over six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharging his duty with respect to property in which he had a private interest.

Qarase's lawyers appeared today before the Court of Appeal's Justice Suresh Chandra, who gave them seven days to file a submission and state prosecutors a further 14 days in which to respond.

Our correspondent in Fiji, Ricardo Morris, reports.

"The second of October Qarase's lawyers will file their written submission and the date for the respondents to reply will be the 19th of October and the case will go to its first hearing on the 31st of October. The judge has given a production order for Qarase to be present at the next court date which is on the 31st of October."

Ricardo Morris reporting from Suva.