Breaking news: Clarence Marae refused bail in Australia in tax fraud case

Clarence Marae, the aide to Prime Minister Sato Kilman who was arrested in Australia while transitting through Sydney airport in April, was refused bail in Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The Crown Prosecutor successfully argued that he was a flight risk because he had no link to Australia and the Vanuatu Government was unlikely to return him if he fled Australian justice.

“Magistrate Anne Thacker said it was concerning that the island nation’s attorney-general had refused to approve Marae’s extradition when the Australian government first requested it in 2008”, reports The Australian newspaper today. Thacker said he was “an unacceptable risk of failing to appear“.

Marae is charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the Australian Government of AUD4.5 million (vt424,000,000) in taxes.

His committal hearing will take place in March 2013.