Friday, July 30, 2010

Chaudhry pleads not guilty

FBC News - 30 July 2010

Lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry today entered a not guilty plea in the Suva High Court on behalf of his client Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry. 

Rajendra Chaudhry entered the plea while objecting to the 12 charges of money laundering and tax evasion against his client. 

Chaudhry told the Court the objection is based on the provisions of the new Crimes Decree. 

He also made an application for bail variation for Mahendra Chaudhry saying the former Prime Minister needed to travel overseas for medical treatment. Justice Daniel Goundar will rule on the bail application next Friday. 

Mahendra Chaudhry is alleged to have deposited $400,000 in a Commonwealth Bank of Australia account and transferred $50,000 to his daughter in Australia without following proper procedures.


Chaudhry charged with in High Court

Former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry appeared in the Suva High Court this afternoon charged with 12 counts of alleged money laundering, tax evasion and not declaring foreign currency.

High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Goundar has adjourned the case after Chaudhry's lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry informed the court that they had just received full disclosures in relation to the case at 1.15pm this afternoon and the matter was set for mention in Court at 2pm.

Chaudhry's lawyer told Justice Goundar that both him and the accused needed time to go over the disclosures and due to the complexity of the case, they need time as they would be objecting to certain particulars in the charges.

Justice Goundar has deferred the matter to next Friday to give the accused and his lawyer time to go over the disclosures before entering a plea.

Justice Goundar also told Chaudhry=s lawyer that he will not take into account the not guilty plea of the accused until they have gone through the disclosures.

Meanwhile, Justice Goundar also informed Chaudhry's lawyer that the application for bail variation would not be considered as a proper plea has not been entered.

Chaudhry is seeking a bail variation as he needs to travel to Sydney on the 21st of September.

Part of his bail conditions is that he report once a week at the Suva Point Police Post and surrender his passport.

It is alleged that Chaudhry between 1st November 2000 to 23rd July this year failed to follow procedures when investing in certain institutions overseas, also not declaring that he had Australian currency with him and also allegedly giving false statement in his tax return forms.

The amount alleged in the case is $1.5 million Australian.

Chaudhry will appear in Court on the 6th of next month.

Story by: Paradise Tabucala

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