13 Aug 2012

Fiji pre-trial conference in Chaudhry case adjourned

1:30 pm on 13 August 2012

The pre-trial conference of a former Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been adjourned until next month.

He appeared in the Suva High Court briefly after he was charged with three counts of breaching the Exchange Control Act.

The charges relate to the alleged failure to surrender foreign currency, between November 2000 and July 2010, and dealing in foreign currency.

Last month, money laundering charges against Mr Chaudhry were dropped either because Fiji courts have no jurisdiction or too much time has elapsed since the alleged offence.

When Mr Chaudhry was the interim government's finance minister in 2008, a special committee had already cleared him of all accusations of tax evasion.

Half a year later, Mr Chaudhry sued the Fiji Times for five billion US dollars for defamation for reporting his alleged breaches.

In 2010, two years after he had quit the interim regime, he was charged with tax evasion and money laundering.