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Judge to brief assessors

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

THE four assessors chosen for the trial of former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry will be briefed by Justice Paul Madigan when the trial proper starts today.

Both counsel did not object to the panel of four assessors. Justice Madigan had the assessors sworn in yesterday.

He told them there was a lot of media attention on the trial.

He said Fiji had good journalism practices but sometimes things were reported out of context.

Justice Madigan told the assessors not to make their decision based on media reports.

He also told the assessors that the prosecution had indicated that its witnesses' evidence would take two days

Defence counsel Peter Bordor had asked the court for time to familiarise the defence with taxation jargons used in Fiji and check to see if any minor applications needed to be made before the trial proper.

With no objection from State prosecutor Clive Groswell, Justice Madigan agreed to start the trial today.

Earlier, an application by the defence challenging the legality of the search warrant was dismissed.

Mr Chaudhry is charged with three counts that he allegedly violated the Exchange Control Act by not declaring to the Reserve Bank the money he kept in banks in Australia.

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