#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-07-08

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Legal issue against Qarase clouded by 'political machinations'

 'If the prosecution fails, Bainimarama and the RFMF lose their right to claim massive corruption by the the SDL government.' 

Qarase and Weileilakeba

There is only one legal issue to be decided by the three assessors and the Suva High Court during the kangaroo trial of Fiji's legal and elected Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase that started 5 July 2012. 

The issue is whether he disclosed his interest to the Fijian Holdings Limited Board in three companies which purchased shares in FHL in 1991/92 while FHL was still a private company.

Former FHL CEO, Sitiveni Weleilakeba admitted in the Suva court on 9 July 2012 while being cross-examined, that he followed the FHL company procedure for share applications: every application is analysed, a company search carried out and the results tabulated for the Board. 

He admitted that he did attach the letter signed by PM Qarase to the Board Paper, along with the memorandum and articles of association of each company, so the Board was fully aware of Qarase’s involvement as an advisor to the three entities which applied for Class A shares.

The three entities in question are:
-QTen Investments (a company owned by his wife and 5 children)
-Cicia Cooperative Society (a company owned by 15 Mataqali on Cicia Island) – he was their financial advisor
-Mavana Investments Limited – owned by the Mavana Village Trust and people of Mavana village, Vanua Balavu – he was a Director of the company.

This one legal issue has been clouded by the constant allegation of self-enrichment against PM Qarase by those who would seek to convict him in court and in the court of public opinion, to justify the 2006 coup.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another judge gets the heave


No official announcement but it looks as though Judge Sosefo Inoke is no longer part of the Fiji judiciary.

Inoke was tipped to lose his job by Coupfourpointfive in May after leaked correspondence showed the regime was dumping him.


He was appointed by the former president Josefa Iloilo and sworn in as the same time as Fiji's hanging judge Daniel Goundar, but was terminated at the instigation of the regime's attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Inoke: happier times
The regime's chief justice, Anthony Gates, told Inoke in a letter dated April 20 his work 'was commendable, and you have clearly driven many improvements at the Lautoka High Court' but his contract was not going to be renewed.

"Having referred the matter at your request, I have received the same decision back.  Regrettably therefore I must inform you that the decision I had communicated to you before, stands."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FLP members arrested in Lautoka after 'private yaqona session'

Chaudhry and members at March 24 meeting

Labour Party members accused of holding a meeting without a permit in Lautoka last night have been arrested and are believed to still being interviewed.

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he was contacted last night about the arrests as they were taking place.

He told FBC News: "When I received a call at about 9 o clock from Vyas Deo Sharma that police were arresting them and accused them of holding a meeting without a permit and after that the call was terminated because the police took the phone away from him."

Chaudhry says he was unable to contact Sharma until nine o'clock this morning.

"They were still at the police station and interviewed and I am not sure what is happening at the moment but I was told they were having a yaqona session at a private residence when police barged in.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fiji judges take easy way out on Karunaratne ruling

First to bend: Ratuvili
Second to bend: Temo

As predicted the High Court has sided with the regime and overturned an earlier decision by Fiji's Chief Magistrate,Usaia Ratuvili, to allow Jagath Karunaratne to travel to Sri Lanka to attend to family commitments.

Justice Salesi Temo yesterday ruled in favour of the DPP, Christopher Pryde, even though the wrong application was filed on Friday in the Suva Magistrates Court, procedure was again not followed on Monday in the High Court, and he failed to rebutt before the bail application got to Ratuvili.  

In making his decision, Temo claimed he ruled in favour of the appeal by the regime 'after very carefully going through arguments by both sides' and 'In the interest of justice'.

Temo has not revealed his reasons (he has promised to cite them later this month) for going back on Ratuvili's original ruling (see document below), but there is no doubt he has bowed to pressure, just as Ratuvili was first to do.

With the rule of law long gone in Fiji, it is all too easy to deny citizens their rights.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Registration clerks getting 'bum deal'

Registration clerks. generic pic FBC News
Complaints are coming in from the field about Election Office staff having to work overtime every day to meet the regime's goal of registering 600,000 thousand voters in eight weeks.

Sources say registration clerks are having to cover huge distances but are not getting any meal allowance, travel or field allowances.

According to sources: "The poor clerks are paid $100 in advance and such clerks go as far as the Western Division, Namosi areas - even as far as Lau. 

"Yet there is inconsistency as Taveuni Clerks are paid $360."

Qarase share charges sprang from FLP claims


A Coupfourpointfive investigation suggests the former Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, was behind the initial arrest and the laying of charges against his political adversary, Laisenia Qarase and Sitiveni Waleilekaba by FICAC.


His allegations, dating back to 2001, was part of his overall claims to dictator Frank Bainimarama that the SDL government led by Qarase, was corrupt.


Ironically, by the time Qarase first appeared in court in 2008, Chaudhry was himself embroiled in a massive tax scam, and was forced out of Cabinet by the Military Council.


We re-publish his original allegations from 2001 (made after he was deposed by George Speight), which formed the centrepiece of charges against Qarase.


Fijian Holdings Ltd: Why an independent inquiry is needed



FIJIAN HOLDINGS LTD: WHY AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY IS NEEDED, AND THE ROLE OF THE FIJI DEVELOPMENT BANK IN FINANCING SHARES IN FIJIAN HOLDING?


ON THE 13TH JULY 2000 THE INTERIM PRIME MINISTER MR LAISENIA QARASE PRESENTED TO THE GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS A BLUEPRINT FOR THE PROTECTION AND ADVANCEMENT OF INDIGENOUS FIJIANS AND ROTUMANS.


THE BLUEPRINT INCLUDED A DECISION TO CONVERT THE $20 MILLION INTEREST-FREE LOAN TO THE FIJIAN AFFAIRS BOARD TO A GOVERNMENT GRANT ON THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS;

Monday, July 9, 2012

What deal did Weleilakeba cut with FICAC?

Weleilakeba arriving at trial last week. pic Fiji Live
 
The trial of Fiji's former deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase resumes today and there is no avoiding the question: Did star witness Sitiveni Weleilakeba and his lawyer, Qoroniasi Bale, cut a deal with Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Qarase is accused of facilitating and allowing the purchase of Class A FHL shares for certain companies when he was director of FHL, financial advisor of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs.



The trial got underway last week with Sitiveni Welielakeba, the former managing director and secretary of Fijian Holdings Limited, appearing for the state and being questioned about a letter written to him by Qarase on November 20, 1991 on behalf of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited.