25 Nov 2005

Fiji opposition leader refuses to confirm or deny finance claims

10:16 am on 25 November 2005

Fiji's opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is neither denying nor confirming allegations of serious financial impropriety made against him by the prime minister.

Speaking in parliament this week, Laisenia Qarase called on Mr Chaudhry to account for funds collected for him in the Indian state of Haryana last year.

Mr Qarase also asked Mr Chaudhry to confirm or deny whether he and other Labour MPs had tried to profit by attempting to get a commission from a 52-million US dollar loan from the EXIM Bank of India to restructure the sugar industry.

But all Mr Chaudhry would tell Fiji TV in the corridors of parliament was that the prime minister's allegations were "plain stupid."

Mr Chaudhry said if Mr Qarase had any evidence he should have fronted up with it, otherwise he should have shut up.

Mr Chaudhry then walked away from the camera, neither denying nor confirming any of the allegations.