Port Louis, Feb 7:
Former Mauritius prime minister Navin Ramgoolam, who was arrested for involvement in cases of conspiracy and money laundering, was set to be released on bail later Saturday following a decision of the court after a bail motion was heard the same day.
The magistrate of the Bail and Remand Court in capital Port Louis gave a ruling granting bail to Ramgoolam, a person of Indian origin, for a surety of some 5,000 euros (around $5,660), Xinhua news agency reported.
His close friends are claiming that Ramgoolam is being subjected to a political vendetta but police authorities in Mauritius insisted they had been conducting an inquiry and had never taken any instructions from the government.
The arrest of Ramgoolam was initially in connection with an inquiry into a burglary in a bungalow belonging to him. Police believed the former prime minister had lied in one of the statements and were ready to charge him for conspiracy.
But when police officers made a search of his house, they found millions in foreign currencies and charged him with money laundering, for which the sentence can be 10 years in prison under Mauritian law.
A police officer told the court Saturday that so far Ramgoolam had not said a single word about the accusations lodged against him.
The arrest of Ramgoolam Friday in one of his offices in Port Louis led to clashes between his supporters, and those of the present government and police officers.
It is the first time that a former Mauritian prime minister has spent a night in a police cell.
Ramgoolam was the prime minister of Mauritius for nine years till Dec 10, 2014. IANS