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The Kistnen affair, an MSM agent found dead in a cane field in Moka in October 2020, was the central subject of the Private Notice Question (PNQ) by opposition leader Shakeel Mohamed. The Prime Minister took stock of certain aspects and considers the “Kistnen Papers” not credible.

No credit should be given to the “Kistnen Papers”. This is the posture adopted by the Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, during the Private Notice Question from the leader of the opposition, Shakeel Mohamed, in relation to this notebook. The latter, attributed to Soopramanien Kistnen, former MSM agent at No 8 (Moka/Quartier-Militaire), contains documents and notes tending to demonstrate that the MSM would have spent more than the legal limit authorized during the electoral campaign of 2019. As a reminder, the body of Soopramanien Kistnen was found charred in a cane field in Telfair, Moka, on October 18, 2020.

“Anyone can write anything on a piece of paper or a diary and present it,” he said. “From what I have read, Mrs. Kistnen (Editor's note here reference is made to Simla Kistnen, widow of Soopramanien Kistnen), when she was shown this 'karne laboutik' as I call it, could not recognize the her husband's writing. It seems that they (Editor's note Pravind Jugnauth targets the opposition) have evidence that they are keeping secret, I have the impression.

Shakeel Mohamed points out that the figures and invoices contained in the Kistnen Papers do not correspond to those contained in the sworn affidavits of Pravind Jugnauth, and his two running mates, Minister Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun and MP Yogida Sawmynaden, in the elections of November 7, 2019. “Is this not a possible case of swearing false affidavits? », Asks the opposition leader.

“To date, no one has been able to come and say that they recorded information regarding my electoral expenses and those of my two colleagues,” replies the head of government. Was Rezistans ek Alternativ in its complaint to the Electoral Commissioner able to provide evidence regarding these fabricated papers or diaries? I had expected that the leader of the opposition, who is a lawyer, would come with serious questions instead of questions based on hearsay.

“Nothing but frivolous allegations, without substance and without merit”

Pravind Jugnauth recalls that the Private Prosecution lodged by Suren Dayal, Labor candidate defeated in the 2019 elections at No 8, had been rejected by the Supreme Court. Suren Dayal argued, in his motion, that Pravind Jugnauth would have “voluntarily and criminally” made a false declaration on his electoral expenses in the 2019 elections. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ended this Private Prosecution on June 17, 2022.

On this subject, the Prime Minister said: “He couldn't even come with proof. As with all other cases brought before various courts of law, including the Privy Council. What was the result ? Nothing but frivolous, insubstantial, baseless allegations from their minds.” On this point, Shakeel Mohamed takes up Pravind Jugnauth. “The case was not taken up on its merits at any time.”

“Has the Police Commissioner started an investigation and questioned those whose names appear in Soopramanien Kistnen's notebook to verify its authenticity? », Wants to know Shakeel Mohamed. The latter also wants to know if the Prime Minister was questioned. “It is not the Police Commissioner who is investigating, but the CCID. Then, to start an investigation, you need a reporter who can support their allegation. Who made this notebook? The Leader of the Opposition should tell us. (…) Is this the kind of justice we have? How can the police come and take a statement from me when they are not even able to say that these notes came from Mr. so-and-so and that instructions were given by so-and-so to make expenses? No one has been able to say it. Its story-making leader met Soopramanien Kistnen a few days before his death. He was not aware of this notebook and does not know who put what in it? Why doesn't he give a statement to the police? It’s pure and simple manufacturing like all the manufacturing he continues to do,” says Pravind Jugnauth.

Sawmynaden case: verdict in two weeks

During the Private Notice Question on Tuesday in Parliament, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth recalled that the verdict in the case of the fictitious employment of Simla Kistnen as Constituency Clerk will be rendered on May 30 by the intermediate court. As a reminder, she opposes the version of Simla Kistnen, widow of Soopramanien Kistnen, to that of MP Yogida Sawmynaden, Pravind Jugnauth's running mate in constituency No 8 and former Minister of Commerce.

Yogida Sawmynaden is accused of “forgery in private writing” and “making use of a forged private writing”. The process began on February 21. While Yogida Sawmynaden claims that Simla Kistnen was employed as a Constituency Clerk for a period of time, she maintains the opposite.

When the PM mentions the FCC confidentiality clause to not respond to part of the PNQ

Part of the Private Notice Question (PNQ) from opposition leader Shakeel Mohamed focused on contracts involving or awarded by public institutions to Soopramanien Kistnen, an MSM agent assassinated in October 2020.

In his response, the Prime Minister explains that “this aspect of the investigation has already been transmitted by the police to the defunct ICAC, now Financial Crimes Commission (FCC)”. He points out that under Section 161 of the FCC Act, “no information relating to a pending investigation may be disclosed.”

Section 161 of the FCC Act states that “the chief executive officer, each commissioner, each agent, each member of the parliamentary committee, each member of the operations review committee, each member of the national coordinating committee and each member of the group working public-private partnership must take an oath of confidentiality” and that none of these persons “shall, except as prescribed by law, or otherwise authorized by law or ordered by a court, disclose any information obtained in the exercise of its functions or powers” ​​and “may not disclose the source of this information or the identity of any informant or of the author, editor or issuer of a report submitted to the Commission”.

The only exception is that the director general can disclose “any information he considers necessary in the public interest”. Pravind Jugnauth specifies that “the exception for disclosure of information provided for in section 161(4) of the FCC Act does not apply to parliamentary questions”.

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