6 Aug 2012

Fiji's Beddoes dismayed at Qarase jailing

2:00 pm on 6 August 2012

Fiji's ousted opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says while some in the regime will be celebrating their success in jailing Laisenia Qarase, the vast majority of law abiding citizens will be disgusted and angered by what has occurred.

The ousted prime minister was imprisoned for a year for offences dating back to 1991.

Mr Beddoes says while the custodial sentence is tragic, the authorities have unwittingly given the people of Fiji some food for thought.

He says with the imposition of such a sentence for Qarase's offence, there can be little doubt that anyone committing a crime as serious as treason should get a minimum of 80 years to life without parole.

He says the unwillingness of the authorities to show transparency and accountability is manifested in the fact that they dare not subject themselves to the same so-called due process but seek to hide behind the safety of immunity decrees.

Mr Beddoes also says the events of the past few days have certainly allowed the people of Fiji to finally separate the courageous patriots from the quivering cowards.