1 May 2014

Chaudhry mitigation bid in Fiji court

2:32 pm on 1 May 2014

A Fiji court is hearing mitigation submissions in support of the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

He was convicted of breaching the Foreign Exchange Act last month and is due to be sentenced tomorrow..

Those who have spoken in his favour include a former interim defence minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, a former education minister, Taufa Vakatale and an Australian priest, Kevin Barr.

The mitigation meeting follows an unsuccessful bid by his lawyer yesterday to have the charges quashed.

The breach was in relation to 1.4 million US dollars Chaudhry had invested offshore without Reserve Bank approval.

Chaudhry, who is also a former prime minister of Fiji and the post-coup interim government's finance minister, could face up to two years' imprisonment and fines amounting to just over four million US dollars.

He is the second former Fiji prime minister in two years to be convicted of a financial crime.