Family visits will offer ‘ray of hope’ for convicted Bainimarama and Qiliho in jail

The son of a former prime minister of Fiji says his family will pray for Frank Bainimarama and Sitiveni Qiliho after the two were handed prison terms in a corruption case last week.

Bainimarama was handed a one-year sentence after being found guilty of perverting the cause of justice, while former police commissioner Qiliho was given a two-year sentence for abuse of office in a case involving the involving their roles in blocking a police investigation at the University of the South Pacific, by the High Court on 9 May.

The counsel for the two has confirmed that they will appeal the conviction.

The son of Fiji’s sixth prime minister, the late Laisenia Qarase, whose government was overthrown in a military coup led by Bainimarama, and who was later jailed for a year for corruption – which his supporters said was politically motivated – told RNZ Pacific the decision last week would be hard on the Bainimarama and Qiliho families.

“It is a difficult time when a family member is incarcerated whatever the reason,” Laisenia Qarase Jnr said.

“We make mention in our prayers for the Bainimarama and Qiliho families during this difficult time.

“One thing we would like to share is that it will bring the family closer together and every visit to their incarcerated family member will bring a ray of hope to them,” he added.

Frank Bainimarama and Sitiveni Qiliho

Meanwhile, the son of a former Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) soldier who was killed during the November 2000 mutiny has lodged a police complaint against Bainimarama, who was the military commander at the time.

“Selesitino Kalounivale Jr has filed a report at the Totogo Police Station that his father, Selesitino Kalounivale Sr, was murdered at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on November 2, 2000,” affording to The Fiji Times’ report.

“Acting Commissioner of Police Juki Fong Chew confirmed that police had received a report.”

“We may need to gather more information, (look at) what investigation had been done before we may proceed,” he was quoted by the newspaper.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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