11 Mar 2008

Political parties in Fiji call inquiry process into interim Finance Minister a sham

11:29 am on 11 March 2008

Political parties in Fiji have called the inquiry process into interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's tax matters a sham and a farce.

The paper, Fiji Times, says the political parties based their comments on the fact the team had completed its work and handed it to the interim Prime Minister.

The team started the inquiry last Friday and worked through the weekend.

Late yesterday the team sent a signed statement confirming it had completed its review of Mr Chaudhry's tax affairs, saying a report had been delivered to Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Ousted Opposition leader Mick Beddoes said Mr Chaudhry should follow the example of former SDL Minister George Shiu Raj and resign.

Mr Raj had been accused of abusing his travel allowance.

National Federation Party secretary Pramod Rae says the interim attorney general had once again attempted to pull wool over peoples eyes and that the inquiry was a sham.

The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions says the real question was the source and purpose of the funds that Mr Chaudhry allegedly invested but allegedly failed to declare the consequent earnings.