SUVA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — Fiji’s former Prime Minister and Fijian Holding Limited director Laisenia Qarase, 71, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on Friday at the Suva High Court.
Qarase has been convicted of six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharge of duty with respect to property in which he has a private interest. The sentence was handed down by Justice Priyantha Fernando before midday.
Qarase was the last democratically elected prime minister before he was toppled by the current Voreqe Bainimarama government. Security at the court complex and in the streets of Suva remains tight on Friday.
As Qarase arrived in court, there was applause and cheers from supporters gathered in numbers outside the court room, while his family turned out in large numbers and were silently weeping as a well composed Qarase was escorted away.
Rusiate Tudravu, Director Operations Senior Superintendent of Police, said its normal procedure to beef up security as they want to be ready should there be any incidents. “Police are in the forefront and if there is any issue that will arise then we will deal with it accordingly.”
There remains heavy presence of officers from the Ready Action Unit in the island nation’s capital.
Earlier this week, Qarase expressed to supporters his deepest appreciation for their tremendous support, encouragement and best wishes during his High Court trial.
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Editor:James |Source: Xinhua