Former Fiji PM Chaudhry’s Case Begins Tomorrow

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Labour Party leader accused of violating foreign currency laws

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 1, 2014) – Mahendra Chaudhry’s trial starts proper tomorrow at the Supreme Court before Justice Paul Madigan.

Four assessors were sworn in today before Justice Madigan during which he reminded them of their responsibilities.

Justice Madigan reminded the assessors that the case will have extensive coverage from the media and their decision should not be based on what they hear or read.

Madigan told assessors that the trial may take four to five days based on the evidence.

Chaudhry is being charged with three counts of breach of the exchange control act.

Chaudhry is charged on the first count with ‘failure to surrender foreign currency,’ between November 1, 2000 and July 23, 2010, contrary to the Exchange Control Act.

For the second count, he is charged with ‘dealing in foreign currency’ otherwise than with an authorised dealer without the permission of the RBF, between November 1, 2000 and July 23, 2010.

On the last count the charge is of ‘failure to collect debts’, between November 1, 2000 and July 23, 2010 being a Fiji resident and having the right to receive AU$1.5million from financial institutions in Australia and New Zealand, he allegedly caused the delay of payment of the said sum, in whole or in part, to himself by authorising the continual re-investment of the said sum, together with interest acquired, back into the said financial institutions without the permission of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

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