Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, former Native Land Trust Board General Manager Kalivati Bakani and former Native Land Trust Board Director Keni Dakuidreketi appeared before the Suva High Court today for a Pre Trial Conference where they were told another judge will preside over their case.
The trio appeared before Justice Priyantha Fernando today who informed them that he would be dealing with the pre trial issues until the trial judge is nominated.
FICAC Manager Legal Vinsent Perera informed Justice Fernando that the proposed Agreed Facts have been sent to the Defence Counsels and Prosecution has not received a response.
Qarase’s lawyer Tupou Draunidalo confirmed to the Court that she had received the Proposed Agreed Facts, the documents and boxes of disclosures on Tuesday afternoon and that she would need time to go through them.
Aseri Vakaloloma who made an appearance on behalf of Bakani under the instructions of Filimoni Vosarogo informed the Court that they also need further time since the three Defence Counsels still could not have the meeting they were planning in order to discuss and finalise the PTC issues.
Representing Dakuidreketi, Ravikant Singh introduced Queens Counsel Brian Keene and Maria Cole who will be appearing for Dakuidreketi.
The matter was then adjourned to 14 November 2012 for Pre Trial Conference. Justice Fernando informed the Counsels that the Proposed Agreed Facts should be ready by then.
The Trio are charged with seven counts in total.
Qarase is charged with two Counts of an Abuse of Office, Bakani and Dakuidreketi are jointly charged with four Counts of Fraudulent Conversion while Bakani is also charged with one Count of an Abuse of Office.
By Ropate Valemei