30 Jul 2010

Former Fiji PM denies money laundering

8:54 pm on 30 July 2010

A former prime minister of Fiji, Mahendra Pal Chaudhry, has pleaded not guilty to 12 offences relating to money laundering and tax evasion.

His lawyer entered the plea in the Suva High Court on Friday.

He also made an application for bail variation, saying his client needed to travel overseas for medical treatment.

Justice Daniel Goundar will rule on the bail variation next Friday.

Mr Chaudhry, Fiji's first ethnic Indian leader, was deposed as prime minister in a nationalist coup in 2000 after being held hostage for 56 days.

He was arrested by Fiji police last week and charged with 12 offences relating to tax evasion and money laundering, which date back to just after the coup. The charges involve more than $500,000.