#120 QARASE JUDGMENT -NEWS FLASH

Guilty: Laisenia Qarase (Photo:ABC)

The High Court judge presiding over the corruption trial of deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has confirmed the guilty verdict delivered yesterday by the assessors. Justice Priyantha Fernando endorsed Qarase’s guilt on all nine counts. He set down a mitigation hearing tomorrow, where Qarase’s lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo, is expected to plead for leniency. A sentencing date will then be fixed. In the meantime, Mr Qarase has been allowed bail. The former prime minister now faces a prison term and is automatically barred – because of the conviction – from contesting the 2014 election.