Former Mauritian port chairman gets jail term extended for accepting bribes

Thirteen years after an investigation was launched against former Mauritian minister Siddick Chady, the Mauritian Supreme Court has upheld his conviction for corruption. He was found guilty in November 2019 by the Intermediate Court of having solicited bribes, back in 2006, from Netherlands-based Boskalis, which won a dredging contract of the English Canal in Port-Louis’ harbour. In his appeal, however, the Supreme Court has now decided to extend the initial sentence from nine months to a fifteen months in jail.

At the time Chady was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA), the public body responsible for the management of the country’s Port Louis’ harbour, while the government was run by his close friend.

Chady raised several issues to challenge the verdict of the Intermediate Court. He argued, among other things, that the documents submitted to the court were fabricated and that the proceedings had dragged on for years, thus depriving him of a fair trial. The judges noted that the trial dragged on for six and a half years largely because of the requests for judicial assistance and the 19 motions raised by Chady’s lawyer.

Those motions ranged from procedural flaws to constitutional violations, to allegations of trial by the press and more. The Supreme Court sided with the previous ruling of Intermediate Court, pointing out that there was ample evidence to show that Chady was bribed by Boskalis.