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No leniency in $4million abuse of office case: Judge

High Court Judge, Justice Salesi Temo, told the court that he would not be lenient when sentencing Viliame Katia in the $4 million abuse of office case. “People have worked
16 Sep 2018 11:30
No leniency in $4million  abuse of office case: Judge

High Court Judge, Justice Salesi Temo, told the court that he would not be lenient when sentencing Viliame Katia in the $4 million abuse of office case.

“People have worked hard for their money and you cannot expect me to be lenient when a white collar criminal comes around and takes $4 million of the hard earned money,” Justice Temo said.

The former acting deputy official receiver, Katia, will be sentenced afresh on November 2.

Katia appeared before Justice Temo for the hearing of sentence submissions on Friday.

During the sentence hearing, FICAC State counsel Laite Bokini suggested a 20-year sentence at the least. She also told the court that Katia had already served one year and six months because he was remanded for his case.

The defence counsel, Romanu Vananalagi, suggested a sentence of 11 years with parole available after eight or nine years.

Upon request made by the defence counsel for a lenient sentence, Justice Temo said: “There is no restitution in the submission and to me it shows no remorse.

“I do not wish to be lenient with this case because it is the first time the authority has brought in a case amounting to $4 million.”

Katia, 39, was convicted for charges of abuse of office for gain, forgery, embezzlement by servant, false information to public servant, unauthorised modification of data and obtaining financial advantage by deception.

The offences occurred between July 1, 2008 to January 14, 2016 while he was employed in the Public Service and involved a sum of $4,118,447.43.

He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years imprisonment in the Nausori Magistrates Court on June 1, 2017.

However, the sentence was nullified and set aside by Justice Temo following an appeal from Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption.

Edited by Percy Kean

ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj




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