THE trial of former prime minister Laisenia Qarase continued in the High Court in Suva yesterday.
State witness, former managing director and secretary of Fijian Holdings Limited Sitiveni Weleilakeba was questioned about a letter written to him by Mr Qarase on November 20, 1991 on behalf of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited.
Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption senior counsel Michael Blanchflower presented the document in court in which Mr Qarase applied for 180,000 ordinary FHL shares and a cheque of $180,000 was enclosed with the letter on behalf of Cicia Plantation Co-op Society Limited.
Mr Weleilakeba confirmed receiving the letter signed by Mr Qarase who was a Cicia Plantation board director at that time of the application for FHL shares, including the payment for the shares.
The court heard the board resolved the allotment of Class A shares to four companies including Cicia Plantation when none of the board members declared an interest in the subject matter of that decision. Also in court, Mr Blanchflower questioned Mr Weleilakeba about a letter written by Mr Qarase using the address of the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) to FHL on an application to purchase shares from FHL for Mavana Investment Limited.
In the letter, Mavana Investment Limited, of which Mr Qarase was a director, applied to purchase 200,000 A Class shares at $1 that would be paid through an FDB cheque. Mr Qarase is charged with six counts of abuse of office and three of discharge of duty with respect to property in which he had a private interest.
It is alleged Mr Qarase then applied and then facilitated and allowed the purchase of Class A FHL shares for certain companies when he was director of FHL, financial adviser of the Fijian Affairs Board and adviser to the Great Council of Chiefs.
The trial continues on Monday.