Public servant admits to stealing K49,000

National, Normal


A FORMER provincial education adviser in Southern Highlands on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of misappropriation of about K49,000 belonging to Southern Highlands government.
Following his guilty plea contrary to section 383A (1) (2) of the criminal code, his lawyer Martin Kombri of Paul Paraka Lawyers asked to have the submissions on sentence heard later.
The court granted this, but denied the application by the offender’s lawyer for bail.
The state alleged that Francis Yoke, while being the provincial education adviser between 2003 and 2007 allegedly withdrew K49,020 between Dec 8 and 30, under his name, from the Southern Highlands general trust account at the Mendi branch of Bank South Pacific.
The court heard that he negotiated for two separate cheques to be made and given to him from the original cheque.
On Dec 28, one cheque of K18,960 was deposited into Yoke’s account and K30,000 to Roderick Irepo’s account.
The first cheque of K18,000 was further deposited into two separate accounts.
 One was for K17,000 which was deposited into the account of a car dealer to purchase a car that was   later registered under the name of the accused.
The other cheque made out for was only for K1,960 which was deposited into the SHP education trust account.
The same day, about K12,000 was withdrawn from the second cheque deposit of  K30,000.
On Dec 30,  2005, Roderick deposited K10,000 into the account of  the accused and was part of the K49,020 drawn from the trust account.
 Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika ruled that the prisoner be remanded at Bomana jail until submissions for sentence on Nov 1.
Salika ruled that as a signatory to the general trust account during his tenure, the accused was in a position of trust imposed on him by virtue of his position which he abused.
The accused did not appear in court on two earlier occasions and therefore a bench warrant was issued upon application by the state prosecutor Miglshi Giruakonda which the court granted.
The accused was arrested and spent all of last weekend at the Boroko police cells before appearing in court on Monday.