FORMER prime minister Laisenia Qarase was hailed as a man of respect and professionalism by Bau chief Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.
A character witness in the case, the country's former vice president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi said Qarase was always polite, respectful and professional.
He said when he was the vice-president from January 2005 to December 2006, he used to meet Qarase together with the president every fortnightly to relay matters of national interest.
"At all times, Qarase was polite, respectful and patient even if when they disagreed on some matters," Ratu Joni said.
He gave examples to the court of Qarase's involvement in the reconciliation, tolerance and promotion of Unity Bill, Qoliqoli bill and he always remained polite and engaged.
Ratu Joni said Qarase remained polite and professional even when they had differing views on the Reconciliation and Qoliqoli bills.
"Mr Qarase was the prime minister for the country for six years and was a public figure, secretary for the Public Service and managing director for Fiji Development Bank, which showed the character of the man," he said.
Ratu Joni also claimed that he saw Qarase's conviction as a humiliation to his reputation.