February 2, 2023

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Woman handed suspended sentence for corruption

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A woman who pleaded guilty to corruption-related offenses has been handed a suspended sentence by the Anti-Corruption Division Magistrates Court in Navua.

Rigieta Naicovi was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption last year with two counts of obtaining financial advantage and one count of general dishonesty-causing a loss.

The court heard that between 3rd June and 20th November 2015, Naicovi forged the signatures on the Sitting Allowance List for the Namosi Provincial Council Meeting, and as a result, obtained a financial advantage amounting to $390, knowing that she was not eligible to receive the said financial advantage.

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Between 1st October 2016 and 7th February 2017, she caused a loss to the Wainilotulevu Villages, who were members of the Namosi Provincial Council, by misappropriating the Wainilotulevu Villagers’ fundraising funds amounting to $1,500.

The Magistrate said it would be improper for the court to suspend the entire part of the sentence on the basis that the accused was in a position of power and influence as an agent of the state.

The Magistrate further stated that the accused has not made full restitution since 2015 and even after her plea of guilty, the sentence is also a means of general deterrence.

Naicovi has been sentenced to 22-months of imprisonment, of which she will serve eight months behind bars while the other 14-months will be suspended for two years.

 

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