20 Jul 2012

Qarase opts for silence in Fiji abuse of office trial

3:31 pm on 20 July 2012

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told the High Court Judge, Justice Priyantha Fernando, that he prefers to remain silent in his trial on fraud charges.

Mr Qarase, who is facing charges in relation to his work with Fijian Holdings Ltd, dating back up to 20 years, failed yesterday in his attempt to have the case thrown out.

The prosecution, brought by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption, presented its case on Thursday.

Fiji Village reports that Justice Fernando today explained to Mr Qarase his rights and said that he can give evidence on his behalf or call witnesses to present his case.

Mr Qarase then told the court he has opted to remain silent.

The defence plans to call six witnesses.