The Waigani National Court on Friday sentenced former director of the National Library and Archives, Jacob Hevelawa, his wife Miriam Hevelawa, and the former corporate service manager of the National Library and Archives, Timothy Numara, to five years in prison.
They were given five years in prison for conspiring with each other to misappropriate K118,846.30.
The two former library bosses, Hevelawa and Numara, were also given two years for abuse of office after they were convicted for conspiring to defraud the state of the said amount.
They were sentenced on Friday after they were arrested and charged in January 2016 with one count each of abuse of office, dishonestly applying K118,846.30 and conspiring to defraud the state of the said amount.
A trial was conducted and the court found that Numara and Hevelawa corruptly awarded a contract for grass cutting, landscaping and rubbish removal to Paja Sisters Limited, a company owned by Miriam.
The project was allegedly paid in three lots of payment totaling K118,846.30, an amount not justified by the actual work done.
A trial was conducted against the three and the court found that Jacob and Timothy, being very senior public servants who were highly educated, abused the authority of their office by awarding the contract to Mirriam.
The court saw that due to the relationship of the parties, the awarding of the contract raised eyebrows, adding that Jacob had vested interest when he awarded the contract to his wife’s company.
During the trial, Mirriam said the project assisted mothers in the Eight-Mile area earn an income for their families but none of them came to court to give evidence.
According to the Finance Management Act, at least three companies should bid for the project before one is awarded the contract. This was not done.