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Western Governor Ati Wabiro and accomplices sentenced to 10 imprisonment

Papua New Guinea's Western Province  Governor Ati Wabiro and two of his associates Norman Carl May and Dr Modewa Gumoi have all been sentenced by the Waigani National Court to 10 years imprisonment (each) for Misappropriation of public funds and Conspiracy to Fraud.

The trio were originally sentenced to 50 years imprisonment under the 2013 Amendment 383 Criminal Code Act, however the their sentence was reduced down to 10 years as the court found mitigating circumstances.

One of the circumstances is the Restitution fee of K373, 971, 68 that was paid and the receipt in the form of an affidavit was submitted to Court today before the sentencing started.
Justice Martin Ipang said apart from the Restitution fee, the trio did not benefit from the funds that went missing as the funds were used for projects that were never completed and acquitted for.

The three men were charged in April 2014 for misusing public funds worth of K7.6 million and the court proceedings ended today with the sentencing.

During the time they accessed the funds, Dr Modewa Gumoi was the Provincial Administrator and according to the evidence, funds from the DSIP and PSIP were diverted to the Fly Care Foundation which the Chairman at the time was Mr Norman Carl May.
The Court also stated that there were no proper procedures followed in dispersing the funds to Fly Care Foundation and also Fly Care Foundation failed to provide acquittal report of how the funds were used.

Justice Ipang while handing down the sentence said, Governor Wabiro and Dr Modewa are highly educated individuals who are supposed to be well vast of the procedures of giving out public funds for projects, and such actions from both of them cannot be taken lightly as these funds belong to the people. PNGFM/PNG Today
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