Mauritius’ former President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who resigned in
March over an expenses scandal, has appeared in front of a government inquiry
Ms Gurib-Fakim denies any misconduct amid claims that she made large personal
purchases on a charity bank card.
She told the inquiry that, when in office, she had set up
an inquiry into the activities of Angolan businessman Álvaro
Sobrinho because she felt under pressure.
her resignation, the Mauritian daily L'Express published bank documents
purporting to show Ms Gurib-Fakim had used a credit card given to her by the
Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in London to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of
clothes, jewellery and other personal items.
to the paper, the card was given to her as part of her work as an unpaid
director for the charity.
the organisation's directors is Álvaro Sobrinho who, the paper says,
secured a permit to found an investment bank in Mauritius, prompting
allegations of favouritism.
The inquiry that Ms Gurib-Fakim launched earlier this year was roundly criticised at the
time by the government, who said it was not within her powers to do so.
that decision today, saying "there was a sense of isolation, total lack of support
from the executive…There was no will whatsoever to help the office of the
General told me that he could not do anything while the office of the presidency
was under attack."
She also told the
inquiry she had been advised not to speak to the press.
The inquiry is
expected to continue for a number of days.
The tropical island of Mauritius - in the Indian Ocean, off south-east Africa - brings a slice of island life to the UK.
Mauritius to sell citizenship and passport
BBC News, Port Louis
Mauritius is offering foreigners the chance to obtain Mauritian citizenship in exchange for a non-refundable contribution of $1m (£757,400) to the national sovereign wealth fund.
Applicants' spouses and dependents are also eligible with an additional contribution of $100,000 per family member.
The announcement was made by the prime minister and finance minister in the country's 2018 budget.
The move has been condemned by opposition politicians.
Leader of the populist Rezistans ek Alternativ party, Ashok Subron, said:
The notion of nationality of a country is not a product. It has no price and is in no way a commodity."
The Economic Development Board (EDB) is to manage the scheme, and applicants will have to satisfy defined criteria subject to relevant due diligence.
Another scheme will offer Mauritian passports in exchange for the lesser sum of $500,000 paid to the Mauritius Sovereign Fund, and $50,000 per passport for family members.
Council employee flown to Mauritius for inspection
Local Democracy Reporting Service
A council officer was sent to Mauritius to inspect a fishing boat, but at no cost to the taxpayer.
The trip was revealed after Cornwall Council published details of a £570.71 payment made to the Voile Bleue resort in the Indian Ocean.
It is understood a credit card charge from British Airways in November for £2,951.50 was also linked to the visit.
But the authority says all costs for the port health officer's visit to Mauritius were paid for by the owners of the British-flagged fishing vessel he inspected.
Cornwall Council says it regularly carries out inspections of fish processing operations undertaken on board fish factory vessels "for compliance under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006".
The cost of this inspection is based on 100% full cost recovery. The owners of the vessel pay for all of the costs including the flight, hotel accommodation, subsistence, a daily rate for officer time and for the production of the report. There are no costs to Cornwall Port Health Authority."
Family members travel from Mauritius for sad farewell
Some of the Ragoobeer family members have arrived ahead
of the service at 10:00.
I’ve just been told some relations have travelled from Mauritius to be here today.