A former Assistant Treasurer with the iTaukei Affairs Board was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment in the Labasa Magistrates Court yesterday.
Taniela Jerema was charged with a count each of Obtaining a Financial Advantage and Causing a Loss by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2018.
In January this year, he pleaded guilty and admitted to receiving payments and keeping it for himself, instead of depositing the payments into the respective Bua Provincial accounts.
The offences occurred from September 2016 to March 2017 involving $8,620.00 FJD. Resident Magistrate Mr Bimsara Jagodage stressed that the Accused was convicted and sentenced on serious offences and that the community denounces the commission of such offences.
He added that the pre-meditated actions of the Accused brought disrepute to the Provincial Council he was responsible for and jeopardized the image of the Council.
He stated that the message needed to be given to society that people or public servants who misuse public property or public funds have to expect immediate custodial sentences for their acts and that a deterrent punishment is called for in this occasion.
Resident Magistrate Jagodage then stated that to balance the competing interests of the public against the interest of the accused, it was justified to suspend eight (8) months of the sentence.
Jerema will now serve 12 months in prison effective immediately with the remaining eight (8) months of the sentence suspended for two (2) years