Defence Lawyer Anand Singh has expressed strong disquiet that the DPP has chosen to make comments on the case
of his client Mahendra Chaudhry when it is still before the courts.
But Mr. Singh refutes the claim by DPP Christopher Pryde that there had been no consultations between the DPP’s Office and the regime in relation to Mr. Chaudhry’s case.
DPP Christopher Pryde had referred to Mr Chaudhry’s case at a Fiji-New Zealand Business Council meeting on Saturday in reacting to the latest New Zealand Travel Advisory which states that the Fiji government “has a degree of influence over the judiciary”. He denied any interference.
Mr Singh, however, said there was clear proof of interference in Mr Chaudhry’s case as contained in a Prosecution document dated 15 July 2010, which had been admitted as evidence in the course of the trial. The Prosecution had not disputed the document.
The following extracts from this document show there had been consultations with Attorney General Aiyaz Khaiyum in Mahendra Chaudhry’s case:
“On 19 April 2010, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions wrote to Siwatibau
and Sloan Lawyers confirming our conversation and the Office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions advised the Hon. Attorney-General Mr. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum accordingly.
The Acting DPP asked Mr. Reddy to instruct Siwatibau and Sloan to hand the brief to the
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for continued carriage of the prosecution
of this matter from that point forward if that was his intention, as his instructions to them
had been in conflict with his instructions to the Hon. Attorney-General.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was then given carriage
of the brief for Prosecutions immediately thereafter. “
“This is clear evidence of consultation between the DPP’s office and the Attorney General. It goes to show that Mr. Pryde’s statement was totally incorrect,” said Mr Singh.