17 Jul 2012

Qarase lawyer claims no case in Fiji corruption prosecution

3:16 pm on 17 July 2012

The lawyer acting for Fiji's ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has filed an application for no case to answer in proceedings brought by Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Mr Qarase has been charged 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.

The alleged offences date back to the 1990's before he entered politics.

Fiji Village reports his lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo, as saying the elements of the nine charges were not met.

She also said FICAC did not prove that Mr Qarase was holding public office at the time of the alleged offence.

The website reports this has been rejected by FICAC's Senior Counsel, Michael Blanchflower, who said former Fijian Affairs Minister, Ratu Timoci Vesikula, said in court that Mr Qarase was holding public office.