2 Aug 2012

Fiji court to sentence ousted PM Qarase on Friday

6:17 am on 2 August 2012

The Fiji high court will pronounce on Friday what sentence will be given to the ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Yesterday he was found guilty of nine charges relating to abuse of office before entering politics, and today a former political rival and a deposed vice-president were among those speaking at his mitigation hearing.

Ricardo Morris reports from Suva.

"Qarase's lawyers asked for a non-custodial sentence with an option for community work. His lawyers said a prison term was not warranted, and that his fall from grace is complete. But the prosecutors asked for a jail sentence, saying he has not shown remorse. Prosecutor Elizabeth Yang the court asked for consecutive sentences of one year each for charges relating to discharge of duty with respect to property in which he had a private interest. Judge Priyantha Fernando will consider whether the lapse of time since the offence of 20 years, is favourable to Qarase."