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Fiji Time: 5:33 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Qarase case to show on TV

HAROLD KOI
Wednesday, March 05, 2008

THE constitutional redress case brought against the interim Government by ousted prime minister Lasenia Qarase will be televised.

The High Court yesterday agreed to a Fiji Television application to televise the case for public interest. Mr Qarase's lawyer and Queen's Counsel Nye Perram said his client would have the chance to reply to the "numerous allegations" made against him.

Mr Perram supported Fiji TV showing court proceedings to the public.

The application by Fiji TV lawyer Tanya Waqanika was granted by the court on certain conditions. Mr Perram said this was not an ordinary case and there had been a lot of allegations made against Mr Qarase.

He said his client could have the chance to testify when he took the stand.

Ms Waqanika had applied for Fiji TV to broadcast a delayed coverage of the case and show picture of proceedings in their news bulletins.

Solicitor-General Christopher Pryde and Queen's Counsel Guy Reynolds objected to Fiji TV's application.

Mr Pryde argued that televising would reduce the court proceedings to an American soap opera.

He said there was no need to broadcast proceedings because there were other ways the public could be informed about the trial.

Panel of judges Justice Gates, John Byrnes and Devendra Pathik concluded that the public had a proper and lawful interest in viewing evidence. Justice Gates said the public had the right to follow the legal arguments of the litigations.

ary Commander Voreqe Bainimarama, RFMF and the Attorney General, and the court accepted that the difficult to attend court was beyond his control.