Money was a donation – QC Williams

Money was a donation – QC Williams

Monday 12/09/2011
The Queens Counsel representing the former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry in relation to the money laundering case has told the court that the money was a donation to Chaudhry.

The case started in the Suva High Court before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar today where QC Williams informed the court that on 11th March 2008, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General had both said that the matter is now over however, on 10th of August last year a search warrant was issued.

Justice Goundar asked what was obtained during the search.

Chaudhry’s lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry said that nothing was obtained.

The court was informed that on the 20th of February, 2009 Mahendra Chaudhry received a letter from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority that his tax matters were not up to date.

Rajendra Chaudhry then showed various documents including an official receipt from FRCA dated 10th November last year which showed that his client had paid $86,069.

QC Williams told the court that the alleged offences occurred in Australia on which Judge Goundar said the changes were made in 2005 where people had to declare their property and accounts in overseas.

QC Williams then informed the court that the money being talked about was donated to Chaudhry and was transferred to the bank account under the Mahendra Chaudhry’s name.

Chaudhry is charged with 12 counts of money laundering, tax evasion and giving false information to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.

The case continues this afternoon.

Story by: Praneeta Deo and Ronal Deo

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