5 Jul 2012

Qarase abuse of office trial opens in Fiji

1:35 pm on 5 July 2012

Fiji's ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has pleaded not guilty to all charges on the opening day of his High Court trial in Suva.

Mr Qarase has been charged by Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption, with six counts of abuse of office and three counts of improperly discharging his duty with respect to a property in which he has a private interest.

It is alleged Mr Qarase committed the offences between 1992 and 2000 while a director of Fijian Holdings Limited, a financial advisor to the Fijian Affairs Board and an advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs.

The trial had several delays, including one earlier this week when Mr Qarase got new lawyers.