Western Governor’s sentence adjourned

The Waigani National Court has adjourned the sentencing of Western Governor Ati Wobiro and two others to a later date.

Governor Wobiro, former Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi, and Fly Care Foundation Inc. boss Norman Carl May, appeared in court this morning with their lawyers. However, the sentencing was deferred because the judge was not ready with his decision.

Justice Martin Ipang is now expected to hand down his decision on their sentence on Nov 18.

The three were found guilty on July 26 for conspiring to establish the Fly Care Foundation between January 1 and December 30, 2013, by using over more than K7m funding from the provincial government.

They conspired to misappropriate funds through a memorandum of agreement between Governor Wobiro and May, for the Foundation to deliver projects in the province.

Justice Ipang, in his ruling on July 26, said there was overwhelming evidence that Wobiro paid K350,000 to New Century hotel as  a cover up for informal sector projects, when it was actually intended for his electoral officials who led his campaign in the 2012 General Elections.

It was also found that he paid out monies for various church projects in the province without following proper processes.

Justice Ipang further found that despite some programs completed by Fly Care Foundation Inc, no proper reports were given or made to the court.

Submissions were made on Sept 26 to court on what their appropriate penalties should be.

They have been on K10,000 bail since July.

Sally Pokiton