Update: 4:43PM FORMER prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has today been granted leave to appeal on certain grounds against his conviction and sentence for offences against the Exchange Control Act by the President of the Fiji Court of Appeal Justice William Calanchini.
In granting leave, Justice Calanchini emphasised that when granting leave to appeal, the Court is not in any way assessing the merit of any particular ground, and will grant leave to appeal as long as an arguable point is raised.
The Court, however, dismissed an application to stay Mr Chaudhrys conviction and sentence pending the appeal. The Court ruled that it has no power under the Court of Appeal Act to grant stays in criminal appeals.
Justice Calanchini also granted an application by Chaudhrys lawyer Anand Singh for an urgent appeal hearing in view of Mr Chaudhrys intention to stand in the September election. His conviction presently disqualifies him from candidacy. The matter will be called on Monday to fix a hearing date.