The former spokesman for the Vatukaroa Community received a sentence of thirty-one (31) months in the Labasa Magistrates Court today.
Mr. Alick Thaggard was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2016 with “False Information to Public Servant” and “Conversion” and was found guilty of both counts in August.
For the first count he received a sentence of six (6) months and for the second count, he received a sentence of thirty-one (31) months with a non-parole period of twenty-four (24) months.
Both sentences will be served at the same time.
During the trial it was proven that he utilized monetary assistance that was provided by the Ministry of Multi-Ethnic Affairs to build a Community Hall, and built a Church instead.
The Church in question belonged to the members of the Methodist Church in Vatukaroa.
In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate Mr. Timoci Qalinauci said the crime committed breached the trust between the community, the accused and the Government, and showed pre-planning.
Furthermore, he said that the Vatukaroa community suffered as a result of this crime as there is still no Community Hall as initially promised.
Five (5) witnesses were brought before the court in the two (2) week trial by FICAC State Counsel Mr. Adrian Sharma after the Accused pled not guilty to the two (2) charges against him.
Twenty-eight (28) days was given for Appeal.