Qarase matters adjourned

Media Team   |   07 Dec 2008
Two FICAC cases against former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase were called for Mention in the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

FICAC applied to have the matter transferred to the High Court for the seriousness of the case.

Qarase’s lawyer, Ms Salele objected to this submission. She stated that she was seeking legal advice from an overseas Queens Counsel on whether the charges against her client where proper.

She also stated that she would discuss the issue of the delay in charging offences committed by her client that took place in 2002.

FICAC Prosecutor Paul Madigan submitted that the Anti-corruption body was not formed until 2007 so charges against Qarase could not be laid until it was formally set up.

FICAC charged Qarase in May 2008 with three counts of Abuse of Office and one count of Officer charged with Administration of Property of a Special Character or with Special Duties for the Extinct Mataqali Funds case and one count of Abuse of Office in the Fijian Holdings Limited case.

Ms Salele also questioned the legality of FICAC

Mr. Madigan submitted the Qarase judgment was binding of the Magistrates Court and that court proceedings should not be held up because of the appeal in Court.

Retiring Magistrate Katonivualiku has adjourned the matter to 27th January 2009 for Mention to sort out the issues raised by Qarase’s lawyer and how to proceed with the matter.