Fiji Time: 12:24 AM on Tuesday 25 October

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No stay on sentence

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HIGH Court judge Justice Paul Madigan yesterday refused two applications made by the lawyer of former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

Chaudhry's lawyer Anand Singh submitted a stay application on sentence pending appeal and another application on a suspended sentence.

Mr Singh relied on Section 3 (3) of the Exchange Control Act which he told the court his client had the right to have the sentence stayed until the appeal was heard.

Justice Madigan said the paragraph Mr Singh referred to was not appropriate for the stay application.

"In any event, the terms of paragraph 3 (3) are general appeal provisions relating to any matter going to appeal," Justice Madigan said.

"It is very difficult to see, even if the section were applicable, how they would imply a right to have any sentence stayed until the appeal is determined.

"It is not an automatic right."

Justice Madigan said to heavily rely on the section of the EAC was "misconceived and the submission that it implies a right to stay of sentence pending appeal is unexplained and without merit".

He said all cases presented by Mr Singh of previous decisions of the Court of Appeal where stay of proceedings had been granted pending appeal were civil cases and none of which were criminal cases pending appeal.

Justice Madigan said the order to repatriate the funds was not part of the sentence but an order by the court.

"It is but an order for the applicant to comply with the law and that law is that he is not permitted to have foreign funds in Australia for investment without the permission of the Governor of the Reserve Bank."

He stated in his ruling that the section in the Criminal Procedure Decree 2009 Mr Singh was relying on did not apply to the second application which is to suspend the sentence.

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