|Qarase yesterday allowed the enormity of what's happened to show in a moment with brother Satini Lakepa.|
|Family. pic Fiji Live|
With Qarase standing in the dock, Justice Fernando maintained the facts of the case have been established and that as advisor of the Fijian Affairs Board, advisor of the Great Council of Chiefs and director of FHL applied for Class A FHL shares, Qarase facilitated the issuance and allotment of the shares to Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited, Q-Ten Investments Limited and Mavana Investments Limited.
|Security boosted at court|
The regime appointed judge said Qarase had a duty to safeguard the interests of the Fijian people but he applied for shares for companies, in which he had a private interest.
Justice Fernando acknowledged he considered all of the things said about Qarase in the mitigation hearing: that he is 71 years old, has five children and 15 grandchildren, his wife has health issues, he is a first offender, the offence was committed 20 years ago, his diabetic condition is worsening and other health conditions.
He started the sentence at 18 months imprisonment for the six counts of abuse of office then reduced it to 12 months.
Qarase has been given 30 days to appeal the prison sentence and his lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo, has confirmed she will do that on Monday.
Following the sentencing, Qarase hugged his lawyers and his wife, Leba, before he was escorted by police to the back end of the court house, into a police vehicle and taken to prison.
In a country widely known to no longer have a rule of law, Qarase's conviction was driven always by the coterie that has robbed Fiji citizens of so many of their rights, the illegal attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, the illegal chief justice, Anthony Gates, and the former high court judge, Nazhat Shameem.
Hundreds of Qarase's suppporters were at court today as they were yesterday, despite warnings from police it had boosted security and was ready for trouble.
That dislike, driven underground by the relentless decrees, will have no doubt been fueled by the decision to go after Qarase using 'crimes' going back more than a decade and where the key players are no longer around to argue the murky details.
New Zealand's apparent indifference to Qarase's fate will no doubt be noted as well, given the u-turn on its position on Fiji this week in the unproven belief elections and freeom will finally come to Fiji.
I wish to express to you all my deepest appreciation of your tremendous support, encouragement and best wishes during my High Court trial.
The sentencing by the Court will be delivered tomorrow, 3rd August, 2012.
Whatever the court decision I thank God for his blessings upon all of us and for your support.
I also wish to thank the many prayer groups, individuals, and families, both in Fiji and abroad, who have been praying for me, my family and for Fiji during this difficult period.
God Bless you all and God Bless Fiji.