Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has served a writ on Laisenia Qarase and Fiji TV regarding allegations that he had attempted to get a commission from the $86 million EXIM Bank of India loan for restructure of the sugar industry.
In a statement to the media, Chaudhry said Qarase was being sued in personam meaning that he would have to defend the writ personally and not in his capacity as Prime Minister.
Fiji Television has been named as 2nd Defendants in the same writ, for its part in broadcasting and repeating the comments Qarase that he had evidence of Chaudhry attempting to obtain a commission in facilitating the $86 million loan and that he would provide it when the time was right.
“Having made the allegations, Mr Qarase has been reluctant to furnish evidence to substantiate his claims despite a challenge I issued to him in Parliament to provide proof. I then gave Mr Qarase 72 hours to apologise for making such unfounded allegations. This period of moratorium has now expired without an apology from the prime minister,” said Mr. Chaudhry.
“It must also be noted that the imputations are very serious and a direct question on my integrity and leadership. As such I have had to resort to legal action against Mr Qarase,” he said..
In response to calls from some elements in the NFP for an inquiry into the matter, the Opposition Leader said they were welcome to hold any number of inquiries.
“This is just another orchestrated campaign between the SDL and certain members of the NFP at mudslinging and character assassination and is a clear indicator of their desperation ahead of next year’s general elections.
“Such gutter tactics emerge at every general elections without any success. My record is clean, they can have as many inquisitions as they like – they won’t find a thing.” Mr. Chaudhry said.