AFTER waiting four years for trial, a former Fiji National Provident Fund chief executive was jailed for 11 months yesterday for extortion by public servant and abuse of office.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment.
On the first count, the court heard Olota Rokovunisei, 66, accepted a sum of $22,773.18 as responsibility allowance, beyond his proper pay and emoluments for performance as CEO.
High Court judge Justice Priyantha Fernando told Rokovunisei the highest standards of honesty and integrity were expected from those who held high public office.
"The public fund is entrusted on you for proper management and you ought to utilise it for the general benefit of its members, not to unjustly benefit yourself," Justice Fernando said.
"By your actions you have seriously breached the public trust and confidence vested in you."
On the second count, Rokovunisei authorised a payment of responsibility allowance of $20,000 per annum for FNPF's then deputy general manager Foana Nemani without approval of the FNPF board and Higher Salaries Commission.
In mitigation, Justice Fernando considered Rokovunisei's ill health, age, his involvement in the community and religious activities.
The mental strain of having to wait four years for the trial was also taken into consideration.
Justice Fernando said the offences were serious and did not warrant a suspended sentence.
After deducting one month for the time spent in remand, Rokovunisei was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment for each count to be served concurrently.