10 years jail time for Wartoto

Kokopo Businessman Eremas Wartoto has been sentenced to 10 years in prison today over the misappropriation of K6.4 million.

This case involved the misuse of funds allocated and paid to Sarakolok West Transport (SWT) for the renovation of facilities at the Kerevat National High school back in November of 2008.

Justice George Manuhu of the Waigani National Court sentenced Wartoto to 10 years in hard labor.

Four years of that sentenced will be suspended if he repays K3.9 million in the next four months.

The 52 year old from Raburua village in East New Britain province will also be placed on good behavior bond of three years after he is released from prison if he also repays that K3.9 million in the next four months.

He remains in custody at Bomana till then.

Wartoto spent 2 months and 3 weeks in custody at Bomama after he was found guilty of misappropriating K6.4 million on March 29.

That time in custody will be deduced from his head sentence of 10 years.

He now has 9 years, 9 months and one week to serve at Bomana.

Wartoto stood trial at the Waigani National Court for allegedly misusing K7.9 million between January 29, 2009 and January 30, 2010.

The court found that 85 percent of K7.9 million or K6.4 million was paid prior to the commencement of the project.

Those monies were paid into the SWT account in January 2009 and used by June of that year, only K346,000 was used in the project. 

After this payment was made, no work was done to improve the water and sewerage situation and the court found him guilty for this. 

(Loop PNG Picture of Correctional Service truck taking Wartoto back to Bomana today. Picture by Kennedy Bani.) 


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Sally Pokiton