Sent in court for mention

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 23rd November 2011

SUSPENDED public servant William Sent yesterday appeared for mention at the Waigani District Court in relation to the three charges laid against him by the state.
Sent was the first assistant secretary in the infrastructure and economic division of the  department of National Planning and Monitoring until his suspension.
Sent was charged with one count each of conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office and official corruption.
The charges relate to a K10 million being for air freight subsidies which was paid to Travel Air Ltd in March 2011.
Sent is out on a K1,000 bail and told not to interfere with state witnesses.
He will appear in court on Dec 19 for further mention.
Sent was also charged with one count of misappropriation for allegedly assisting in the payment of K100,000 to a pastor in Western Highlands.
On the K10 million, it was alleged that Sent used his position to assess and approve for payment a proposal by Travel Air, a business owned and operated by Eremas Wartoto.
It was also alleged that he colluded with Ruby Zarriga, the then acting secretary for the department of National Planning and Monitoring, Paul Tiensten, the then minister for National Planning and Monitoring and Wartoto to facilitate the payment.
It was further alleged that he did so knowing that it would redirect funds earmarked in the 2011 development budget as airfreight subsidies for the benefit of rural communities serviced only by existing third level airlines and that he did so knowing well that the proposal was defective.