Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister and former director of Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) Laisenia Qarase is expected to appear at the High Court in Suva this morning for mention with a senior local lawyer.
The court heard during his pre-trial conference last week that Qarase’s lawyer Qoroniasi Bale will not be representing him when his trial begins tomorrow but he has identified a Queens Counsel (QC) and a senior local lawyer to represent him.
Justice Fernando had informed Bale that his ruling will remain the same however Bale said the two new lawyers will need more time and they may come in with their own position.
Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) will be represented by two Hong Kong based lawyers Michael Blanchflower and Elizabeth Yang.
Blanchflower had informed the court that they had decreased the number of witnesses from fourteen to ten and also reduced the bundle of documents that it will be tendering from more than 100 to about 68 pages.
This was because it would make the Prosecution’s case leaner in order to focus on the main issues.
This would be Qarase’s first trial where he is charged with six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharge of duty with respect to a property in which he has a private interest.
By Mereani Gonedua