Home » Uncategorized » How to win an election Coup Style …… Change the law….Removing both Qarase and Chaudhry considered to be politically motivated

How to win an election Coup Style …… Change the law….Removing both Qarase and Chaudhry considered to be politically motivated

Fiji’s former PM convicted on currency offences

MICHAEL FIELD

Last updated 18:40 04/04/2014

The only ethnic Indian to be prime minister of Fiji, Mahendra Chaudhry, has been knocked out of the country’s democracy-restoring elections after being convicted on three currency-offence charges today.

Chaudhry, 72, who still leads the Indian-dominated Fiji Labour Party, was a strong contender in the elections in September.

In the High Court in Suva this afternoon Judge Paul Madigan convicted Chaudhry after four assessors earlier found him guilty. He remanded him on bail for sentencing on May 1

After military strongman Frank Bainimarama seized power in 2006 he sacked the then independent courts and replaced them with a judiciary criticised in international forums as not being independent.

Bainimarama last month issued an electoral decree setting up elections in September.

The decree says no-one can be a political candidate if they have been convicted of a charge carrying a sentence of 12 months or more in jail.

Chaudhry faces two years’ jail or a fine up to four times the amount of money he was convicted of.

In this case he could be fined up to A$4.5 million (NZ$4.9m).

The charges against Chaudhry relate to the 2000 George Speight coup, during which he was held hostage, along with the rest of the government, for 56 days.

After release Bainimarama – who had declared martial law – would not let Chaudhry return to office.

Chaudhry went to India to raise funds to fight for his right to return to power.

The charges assessors have found him guilty of alleged that Chaudhry between November 2000 and July 2010 retained A$1.5m (NZ$1.6m) in Australia without the permission of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

He was also found guilty of dealing in foreign currency without permission.

The third charge Chaudhry was found guilty of related to receiving money from financial institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

The prosecution presented only one witness at the trial and the defence did not produce any.

Chaudhry served as prime minister for exactly a year, being overthrown in the Speight coup on the first anniversary of his premiership.

Bainimarama has also avoided having to compete with the man he overthrew in 2006, then prime minister Laisenia Qarase.

In 2012 the Fiji courts sent Qarase to jail for a year over a charges said to be politically motivated and related to financial dealings before he entered politics.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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8 thoughts on “How to win an election Coup Style …… Change the law….Removing both Qarase and Chaudhry considered to be politically motivated

  1. Mahendra Chaudhry’s case might come across as politically motivated, for it was held close to the forthcoming election, but on facts he is guilty!

    We must not forget that he persistently denied receiving a cent from Haryana when it was first raised in Parliament in 2005 until Victor Lal revealed his secret millions in 2008, which led to the abduction and deportation of Russell Hunter from Fiji Sun.

    Even now, I am not convinced the money was for him to re-settle in Australia. It looks like he chose to remain silent in court, for he wanted to avoid any scrutiny and to reveal if or not that mysterious Harbhajan Lal really existed in Haryana!

    Its clear- if the money was allegedly for his re-settlement in Australia – just look at him; he never lived in Australia for any length of time, contested the 2001 and 2006 general elections, and after the coup became Finance Minister until his millions was revealed.

    Oddly, Victor Lal is eerily silent on Justice Madigan’s guilty verdict! He holds the key to revealing all!

    It looks like Victor bhai has become a good buddy of Rajend and Senior!

  2. Funny to think that when we were demanding Frank to investigate Mahen, he did and found him innocent.

    Then when Mahen left frank’s circus show to stand against him, Frank suddenly finds him guilty…

    What bullshit. I don’t believe in anything that the regime does – they lie both coming and going. Too crooked to tell the truth about anything.

  3. In fairness to the prosecution, Chaudhry was arrested and charged some years ago. He employed every tactic possible to delay and remove the judges thus dragging the case on and on; even yesterday Justice Madigan wanted his lawyers to make mitigation but Chaudhry asked for time, until 1May to get some medical report from Australia for some cardiac problem.

    We had it all before – in mitigation Laisenia Qarase, the court was told was suffering from worsening diabetes. On his release, he was fit as a fiddle, himself admitting that his health improved after eating dhal as part of his food; Chaudhry saheb is more used to dhal, sure, he will do well equallt.

    Just look at Qarase, he is up and about – no sign of diabetes!

  4. As a victim of George Speight’s coup, I dont give a damn whether Frank acted out of malice!

    We had been waiting for a long time for this day to arrive – let us pray that Madigan not only jails him but also fines him over $2million so that stolen money in Sydney could be brought back to Fiji; of course Mahend must have made a huge profit on interests!

    Justice has been done, even via a crooked court system. He should never have joined Frank to support the coup, for otherwise he would never have been found out!

  5. You have my sympathy Mr Chaudhry. The facts surrounding your case are one thing, but everyone knows full well that the predetermined outcome was intended to weaken the FLP just like it did for Qarase.

    Knowing Mr Chaudhry and his political nous, the FLP following will simply rebound from this episode with fervour.

    Watch and learn illegal & treasonous regime.

  6. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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