CHAUDHRY CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING IN FIJI

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Former prime minister released on bail

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 22, 2010) – Fiji's former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been released on bail after appearing in court to face charges of money laundering and tax evasion.

The charges date back to just after the 2000 coup, and include providing false information to the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority.

It's alleged Mr Chaudhry held up to nearly $US200,000 in an Australian bank account, and that he gave money to a daughter in Australia without following correct procedure.

He'll reappear in court next week.

Mahendra Chaudry was the interim government's finance minister until 2008.

He was the first Indo-Fijian to be elected Prime Minister but was deposed in the 2000 coup.

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