26 Feb 2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister pleads not guilty to abuse of office duiring night court session

7:59 am on 26 February 2008


Fiji's ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has pleaded not guilty to abuse of office.

He appeared before Magistrate Aruna Prasad in Suva last night and denied all charges brought against him by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption or FICAC.

Mr Qarase faces four counts of abuse of office from November 1991 to February 1995.

The ousted PM was released on a 1,327 US dollar bail with surety of the same amount and has been instructed not to interfere with prosecution witnesses.

He was also reminded by the court to refrain from talking to the media regarding his case.

FICAC prosecutors did not object to bail saying Mr Qarase's wife was in hospital.

She was airlifted to the Suva Private Hospital from their island home on Mavana Village in Lau last Thursday.

The case has been adjourned to March 28.