|CHAUDHRY: Purportedly helping the poor.|
By Anit Singh
Interesting questions as a result of the admission from the former Fiji prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, that he had told Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum about the money he is accused of hiding in an Australian bank account.
With Justice Daniel Gounder failing to object to the disclosure by Chaudhry's lawyer, Peter Williams QC, and because Chaudhry confirmed to FIRCA the money belonged to the public, does this mean that he does not need to produce documentary evidence in Court that the money is purportedly still in his bank account, because he has purportedly informed Bainimarama and Khaiyum?
Is this why the judge has said the judgment will be made on notice, as he may have to take purported directions from Khaiyum?
Was Chaudhry trying to tell the judge that his court is not independent and that he has to take direction from Khaiyum before passing judgment? Or was Chaudhry making deals with Khaiyum?
Why did Chaudhry visit Khaiyum at all to discuss his case and money and then inform the Court of his reported visit to AG and PM? What is Chaudhry or his QC really trying to tell the Judge? Is there an element of further corruption here?
And who is Bainimarama in the scheme of things to tell Chaudhry he can keep the money?
Chaudhry, while responding to a question from Laisenia Qarase in November 2005, had told Parliament he DID NOT receive a single cent from India in his personal bank account for ‘himself’ and purportedly wrote a letter to India complaining of not getting any money as was promised to him.
Would this, then, not be enough to say that the personal donation money had not arrived, supported by Chaudhry’s own letter that he made public in Parliament? And when he failed to hide the money when he got caught, he started calling SDL corrupt instead.
Therefore, the portion of the donation that did come through his bank account was NOT for himself and should have been handed over to the refugee camp at Lautoka Girmit Centre, given that these were the only identified victims of the political crisis, whose plight was spoken about at every speech Chaudhry made.
Has Williams provided a reconciliation of how much money Chaudhry has in question and where all the money came from - and at what intervals did they arrive? And where did it say that it was his money and not given ‘through him’ as the sole trustee in his capacity as deposed PM of the deposed Government, when in fact it was for victim support at the refugee camp?
As part of public interest in this case, the Court should have also been informed by DPP of the freelance Hindi journalist residing in Auckland, who was taken to Fiji by Fiji Human Rights Group (NZ) to report the plight of refugee camp victims for Hindi TV Stations in Hariana and across a host of other Indian TV stations.
Chaudhry’s invitation to meet Om Chautala, the State Minister of Hariana, was arranged by Mr Rohit Kumar ‘Happy’. Therefore, the Lautoka Girmit Centre Refugee Camp was directly behind the Indian TV news and Chaudhry’s profile in Hariana.
Williams should show evidence, too, that the victim families of the 2000 coup were not part of Chaudhry’s emotional speech in India. And if Chaudhry can, let him prove beyond reasonable doubt that he did not collect a single cent by using victims of Muaniweni as his emotional speeches, and that the public of Hariana were not aware of the refugee camp in Lautoka before Chaudhry arrived in Hariana.
Because is it not true that Chaudhry, by his own mouth, told Parliament (and recorded in Hansard report of November 2005) that he did not get any money from India for himself?
And has DPP taken notice that Williams told the court that Chaudhry ‘thought’ he was entitled to keep money because he has told the Government; when Chaudhry also previously told the Government (FIRCA) through his accountant, that the money he was holding onto he was keeping in trust for the public; and that the ONLY public at that time of donation happened to be mostly victims who were residing at Lautoka Girmit Centre?
By Williams stating ‘thought’ appears to confirm Chaudhry himself now ‘doubts’ if the money indeed belongs to him or is it that he should have passed it onto the Fiji Human Rights Group (NZ) in the first instance?
Would it, therefore, not be fair to say that Chaudhry must show evidence of his speech to the Indian public, Indian Media and Minister to prove beyond reasonable doubt that ALL the money was a personal gift to him and not a single cent was donated to the Lautoka Refugee Camp run by Fiji Human Rights Group (NZ) Inc from all that he received in his personal bank account?
Tax payment is a secondary matter which was paid after having been disputed, so the dispute itself is confirmation that a significant portion of money did indeed belong, purportedly, to the Lautoka Refugee Camp which this court should address.
If the court will stay on the proceedings, the Fiji First Party (who contributed this article) says it will appeal that purported decision by filing an appeal as a new party to this case on the ownership of this money, which shall be done within 28 days after decision taken, unless there is another decree to stop us doing so ... or unless Chaudhry offers 50% of the money to the group prior to the judgment handed down!
Time to test the DPP if they will support the purported appeal on these grounds and see if they are still purportedly independent?
Twist in Chaudhry trial
Money was a donation – QC Williams