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Chaudhry files appeal application

Shalveen Chand
Friday, May 09, 2014

FORMER prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has lodged an appeal against his sentence and conviction on the violation of the Foreign Exchange Control Act.

Chaudhry, who maintains the leadership of the Fiji Labour Party, was found guilty on three counts of violating the Exchange Control Act.

Chaudhry had not declared $A1.5million ($F2.6m) he kept in banks in Australia to the Reserve Bank of Fiji and went on to receive interest from the money after it was allowed to be invested.

Justice Paul Madigan sentenced Chaudhry to pay a fine of $2m, or in default spend 15 months in prison, with a 12-month parole period.

The Electoral Decree states anyone in the eight years prior to the election gets convicted of an offence for which the maximum jail time is more than 12 months, cannot be an election candidate.

In this case, the maximum jail time under the law violated by Chaudhry is two years or 24 months.

According to Chaudhry's counsel Anand Singh, an appeal against the conviction had already been filed, now they have extended the application to include the sentence as well.

A date for the hearing is yet to be set.

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