Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) this morning withdrew charges of unlawful assembly filed against Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and five other FLP/NFU members last October.
When the case was called in the Ra Magistrates Court this morning, the prosecutor told the Magistrate that the charges were being withdrawn for lack of evidence.
Mr Chaudhry was charged along with former MP Sanjeet Maharaj, Shammi Kapoor, Ganga Dharan, Gaj Raj Singh and Ashwin Singh with unlawful assembly on 1st October 2010 at Vunikavikaloa, Ra, in alleged contravention of Sections 3(1), (4) and 25 of the Public Emergency Regulations 2009.
At the time of his arrest Mr Chaudhry was on a tour of the cane farming areas in Ra to assess the impact of the prolonged drought on the farming community. He was detained along with the others for three days at the Ra Police Station before being released on bail by the Tavua Court.
“I am pleased with the outcome of the case. We had maintained all along that the charges were baseless. I call on the interim administration to revoke the draconian Public Emergency Regulations which give the police and the military arbitrary powers of arrest and detention,” said Mr Chaudhry.