Monday, August 06, 2012

Qarase Jailing Separate the ‘Courageous Patriots’ from the ‘Quivering Cowards’


Statement No 16      August 3 2012



UPP President Mick Beddoes (left) said today, that while some in the regime would be celebrating their success in jailing Prime Minister Qarase, the vast majority of law abiding citizens will be rightly disgusted and angered by what has occurred


Beddoes said he spoke to Mrs Qarase on the eve of the sentencing and Mr Qarase on the morning of his sentencing and both were ready for whatever would eventuate and they remained calm, strong & composed. Our thoughts and prayers must go to Mrs Qarase and their family and to Mr Qarase at this time Beddoes said.

Beddoes said that while the custodial sentence imposed by the High court was tragic, the authorities have unwittingly given the people of Fiji some food for thought in terms of submissions to the constitutional commission regarding the severity of punishment for the few in our society who continue to commit offences like treason, but then are afraid to account for their actions in the same court of law they are content to send their opponents like Mr Qarase and others too. 

Their unwillingness to demonstrate real transparency and accountability is manifested in their lack of faith in the legitimacy and integrity of their own actions that they dare not subject themselves to the same ‘due process’ they put others through and instead,  seek to hide behind the safety of immunity decrees.

Beddoes said the events of the past few days have certainly allowed the people of Fiji to finally separate the ‘courageous patriots’ from the ‘quivering cowards

Beddoes said Mr Qarase’s 12 month sentence for something that occurred 19 years ago provides us with an opportunity to use the High Court’s justification for its decision as a ‘basic’ measure by which to establish in the new constitution fixed sentences for anyone who commits or has committed treason in the past 20 years.

Beddoes said, taking the sentence Mr Qarase received for his offence, there can be little doubt that anyone committing a crime as serious as treason should get a minimum of 80 years to life without the possibility of parole and all those who aid and abet the act of treason a minimum of 40 years without parole.

Considering the period of time that the prosecution went back to, in order to find something to pin on Mr Qarase, investigations for the crime of treason would surely warrant going back a minimum of 20 years to establish the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Beddoes said that once such deterrents become entrenched provisions in the new constitution, no one, not the President, the Prime Minister, the parliament, the military or the police can amend the sentences to be imposed unless through a referendum conducted only by a legally elected parliament. This way, anyone thinking about coup 5 or 6, might think again before trying it?

Beddoes has called upon all the law abiding citizens to register to vote and to make submission’s to the constitutional commission so that the people’s voice can be heard once more and that serious deterrents be put in place to discourage anyone from committing treason and manipulating the system of government to feather their own nests ever again.

Authorized By:          Mick Beddoes

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