Former Fiji PM’s Abuse Of Office Charge Dropped

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Former Fiji PM’s Abuse Of Office Charge Dropped Fiji anti-corruption body decides not to proceed further

By Mere Naleba

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 27, 2013) – Former Fiji prime minister Laisenia Qarase can now live a normal life after the High Court in Suva yesterday discharged him from a charge of abuse of office.

This transpired after the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) filed a nolle prosequi for Mr. Qarase. A nolle prosequi is filed when the prosecution does not wish to proceed with the case any further.

Mr. Qarase was jointly charged with former Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) general manager Kalivati Bakani on one count of abuse of office while both Mr. Bakani and former NLTB director and chairman of the Vanua Development Corporation, Keni Dakuidreketi, were charged with four counts of fraudulent conversion.

The three men appeared before High Court judge Justice Janaka Bandara when FICAC lawyer Vincent Perera informed the court he wished to file for a nolle prosequi. However, court proceedings against Mr. Dakuidreketi and Mr. Bakani will continue.

Mr. Dakuidreketi's lawyer Wylie Clarke and Mr. Bakani's lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo asked for more time from Justice Bandara to gather information and documents.

It was alleged that the two conspired in 2002 to transfer ownership and control of the defunct mataqali funds without the proper approval of the then NLTB and the Fijian Affairs Board.

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