|FALSE INFORMATION: Muskan Balaggan. pic Fiji Live|
The complex case involving a 21 year old woman who accused lawyer and son of Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, Rajendra Chaudhry, of rape has had an outcome in court today.
Muskan Balaggan was charged with one count of giving false information and was sentenced to two years jail by the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon.
In sentencing Balaggan, Magistrate Nanise Ratakele said she was satisfied with the plea of guilt given by the accused although her actions sent a dangerous message to the society.
Ratakele said Balaggan's actions implied that women can actually lie about being raped and indecently assaulted "and such actions must be disregarded within our community".
Documents, including a signed statement by Balaggan, were obtained by Coupfourpointfive in August. They revealed the military regime's dictatorial Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, tried to influence Balaggan to implicate Chaudhry on a rape charge.
Balaggan withdrew the charges but a 6 page statement given to us dated 22nd July showed a complicated relationship and chain of events between her and Rajendra Chaudhry (her defence counsel) and other parties involved. (see story on Coupfourtpointfive August 2 and 3)
According to Fiji media, an emotional Balaggan today had to be comforted by "her lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry", after she was sentenced. Chaudhry had initially represented her but it was thought another lawyer had taken her case up after she made the rape complaint.
Balaggan also also faces a drug smuggling charge in Lautoka and has yet to appear. (original source Fiji Live and Fiji Village)
OVERTHROWING DEMOCRACY: FIJI'S COUP: An entry from Gale's History Behind the Headlines, Vols. 1-6