Former Commerce Minister Yogida Sawmynaden has pleaded not guilty to the two charges brought against him – forgery of private writing and making use of forged private writing. This was before Magistrate Pranay Sewpal in the Intermediate Court on Tuesday morning.
Yogida Sawmynaden was arrested and released on bail last July. These two formal charges were brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after a complaint from Simla Kistnen. The widow of Soopramanien Kistnen, a former MSM operative at No 8, had lodged a complaint with the Independent Commission against Corruption on 8 December 2020. She claims to have discovered from the Mauritius Revenue Authority that she had been declared as Constituency Clerk to Yogida Sawmynaden, then Minister of Commerce, with a monthly salary of Rs 15,000. She maintains that she never held this position or received the corresponding remuneration. The police began their investigation on 24 December 2020 on the instructions of the DPP.
Yogida Sawmynaden is being defended by Mr Raouf Gulbul and Mr Aleem Boccus. The trial will take place on the merits on 16 January 2024. “We have obtained all the details we requested. The defence is ready”, said Mr Raouf Gulbul in a statement to the press. Ten witnesses have been summoned in this case.