17 Aug 2006

Charges dropped against five Fiji Labour politicians

1:02 pm on 17 August 2006

It's been confirmed in the Suva High Court today that disciplinary charges against five senior Fiji Labour Party members have been dropped.

Radio Legend reports that the party lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry, who is the son of its leader Mahendra Chaudhry, told Justice Roger Coventry that the charges have been withdrawn.

Rajendra Chaudhry also told Justice Coventry that the charges will not be discussed at the party's national council meeting in Ba on Saturday.

The lawyer for the five, Hemendra Nagin, says the withdrawal of the charges proves that Mahendra Chaudhry and party president Jokapeci Koroi do not have the powers to take disciplinary action against party members.

Mr Nagin also called on Justice Coventry to note the undertaking by Mahendra Chaudhry and Mrs Koroi that they will not proceed with disciplinary action against the five.

Those charged were cabinet ministers Krishna Datt and Poseci Bune, MPs Felix Anthony and Agni Deo Singh, and former senator Dr Atu Emberson-Bain.

The five, who are all Labour Party management board members, had publicly questioned Mahendra Chaudhry's senate nominations and autocratic leadership style.

Radio Legend says when it approached Mahendra Chaudhry about the issue he walked away, only saying "no comment."