1 Aug 2012

Former rival takes stand in support of convicted ousted Fiji PM

11:47 am on 1 August 2012

A former political rival and a deposed vice president of Fiji have appeared in a Suva court this morning in support of Fiji's convicted ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

The 72 year old political leader is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of nine corruption-related charges.

Sally Round reports.

"The Suva High Court was jam-packed again this morning to hear character witnesses give evidence before Qarase's sentencing. They include Mick Beddoes who was leader of the opposition before the 2006 coup which saw Qarase ousted as prime minister. Qarase's doctor and a former vice-president Ratu Jone Madraiwiwi also took the stand. The charges brought by Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption date back to offences committed in the 1990s while he was employed as a company director and board advisor. Justice Priyantha Fernando's sentence is expected in the next day or so."