Family affair as Mauritian premier’s son quits Cabinet after corruption case

Pravind Jugnauth accused of using his influence to persuade the government to acquire a clinic partly owned by his brother-in-law

MAURITIAN Technology Minister Pravind Jugnauth, son of the Indian Ocean island nation’s prime minister, said he’s resigning after a court found him guilty of corruption.

“I have discussed with the prime minister and we are on the same wavelength that I should step down,” Jugnauth told reporters in the capital, Port Louis, late Tuesday.

The 53-year- old leader of the ruling Militant Socialist Movement, who faces up to 10 years in prison, said he plans to appeal his conviction.

Mauritius’s Intermediate Court on Tuesday found Jugnauth guilty of a conflict of interest under the country’s Prevention of Corruption Act. He was accused of using his influence to persuade the government to acquire the Medpoint clinic, partly owned by his brother-in-law, for 144 million rupees ($4.1 million) in 2010.

Jugnauth said that while he has the “utmost” respect for the judiciary, he was “very disappointed” by the ruling.

The son of Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth has previously served as Mauritius’s deputy prime minister, finance minister and agriculture minister, according to a biography published on the government’s website.

Mauritius is one of the richest countries in Africa, a middle-income country of some 1.3 million people, with a per capita GDP of just over $9,000 (7,200 euros).

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