FORMER FNPF general manager Foana Nemani has been sentenced to 26 months imprisonment by the High Court in Suva for what it labelled as "a clear exhibition of unbridled greed".
The sentence, handed down by the High Court yesterday, was accompanied by a fresh bench warrant for Nemani's arrest.
The Registry of the High Court's Criminal Division was also ordered to notify the Immigration Department about the warrant with immediate effect.
In his sentence, High Court judge Justice Janaka Bandara said the sentence would commence on the day the accused is apprehended by law enforcement authorities.
Nemani, who left the country in 2011 while the case was still before the courts, was convicted of one count of extortion by public servant and another of abuse of office after her week-long trial in absentia.
On the first count of extortion by public servant, between August 5, 2005 and July 26, 2007, while deputy general manager of the FNPF, Nemani received a total amount of $26,487 after claiming a responsibility allowance despite being fully aware she was not entitled to any such allowance.
On the second count of abuse of office, on September 5, 2006, in her position as deputy general manager and chief operations officer of the fund, Nemani authorised the payment of $33,000 to then general manager and CEO Olota Rokovunisei.
"It is in this context that this court views the conduct of the accused in the two transactions, as a clear exhibition of unbridled greed of money and nothing else," Justice Bandara said.
"The court is compelled to follow the prime principle of deterrence, not only to punish the accused, but to send a clear strong message to the public at large."