15 Jan 2010

Ousted Fiji PM Qarase to stand trial

4:27 pm on 15 January 2010

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has been ordered to stand trial in the Suva High Court next week on charges of abusing his office, with one charge dating back to 1992 when he was with the Fiji Development Bank.

The Fijivillage website says the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption, or FICAC, accused him of abuse of office in February 2008 but he has denied this.

Among the charges, FICAC alleges Mr Qarase caused prejudice to the rights of the Fijian Affairs Board.

Mr Qarase has faced a travel ban after FICAC feared he would speak to the international media and his statements would threaten Fiji's national security.

He will be defended by Qoroniasi Bale, who was the attorney-general when the military staged the 2006 coup.