The Suva Magistrates Court yesterday handed down a ‘partially’ suspended sentence, to the former acting-Field Statistician, of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.
Kelera Nokelevu was sentenced to two years imprisonment with two months to be served in prison, and the remaining 22 months – suspended for two years.
She was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption last October, with one count each of ‘Obtaining a Financial Advantage’ and ‘Using Forged Documents’, and pled guilty to both offences.
In delivering the Sentence, Chief Magistrate – Usaia Ratuvili said, that a deterrent sentence was recommended, as she defrauded the State and breached the trust given to her, as an employee and civil servant.
Furthermore, he stated that because the offences are prevalent, a sentence that acted as a deterrent to ‘like-minded offenders’, was necessary.
In mitigation, he acknowledged her guilty plea and restitution.
The Accused was found to have forged 11 receipts pertaining to the hiring of a ‘Rural Service’ Licensed vehicle and a taxi, along with the fake signatures of the supposed drivers.
These fake receipts were then presented to the Chief Statistician, who thought they were genuine and so approved it, enabling her to acquire $1,588 dollars from November to December 2015.
28 days was given for an Appeal period.