5 Sep 2007

Chaudhry tells deposed Fiji PM to back off over tax evasion claims

1:59 pm on 5 September 2007

Fiji's interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, has called on the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to stop misleading people by demanding an investigation into an interim minister who has allegedly been evading taxes.

Radio Legend says Mr Chaudhry has drawn attention to a statement by the chairman of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Filipe Bole, last month that there are no tax issues in relation to any interim minister.

Mr Chaudhry says Mr Qarase should know that it's the Customs and Revenue Authority which deals with tax matters and it has made it clear that there is no such case.

He says he has no further comment on the matter.

But Mr Qarase says Mr Chaudhry must resign if he cannot initiate investigations into the interim minister who allegedly evaded taxes.

Mr Qarase says if a cabinet minister deliberately evaded taxes over four years, that is a serious criminal offence and action ought to be taken now.