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Chaudhry still rules

Nasik Swami
Friday, May 23, 2014

MAHENDRA Chaudhry remains the leader of the Fiji Labour Party.

This was confirmed by party assistant general secretary Kini Marawai in an interview yesterday.

"Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry remains the FLP leader even though his stay application recently in the High Court was unsuccessful," Mr Marawai said.

Mr Marawai also confirmed that Chaudhry had appealed to the Fiji Court of Appeal.

"To speculate otherwise as for him to stand down and relinquish the helm of FLP is rather mischievous and neither here nor there," he said.

Judge Justice Paul Madigan refused two applications made by the lawyer of the former prime minister on Tuesday.

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 ECA was "misconceived and the submission that it implies a right to stay of sentence pending appeal is unexplained and without merit".

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