Man imprisoned for misusing state funds

A MAN was sentenced to 31 months imprisonment in the Labasa Magistrates Court yesterday for using Government assistance to build a church instead of a community hall.

Alick Thaggard was charged with “false information to public servant” and “conversion” by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2016.

He was found guilty of both counts in August.

For the count of giving false information to public servant, Thaggard received a sentence of six months.

Magistrate Timoci Qalinauci sentenced him to 31 months imprisonment for the second count without parole for 24 months.

Both sentences will be served concurrently.

According to the statement issued by FICAC today, the church belonged to members of the Methodist Church in Vatukaroa.

Magistrate Qalinauci said the crime committed breached the trust between the community, the accused and the Government and showed pre-planning.

He added the Vatukaroa community also suffered as they were still without the community hall that was promised.

Thaggard has been given 28 days to appeal the judgement.

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