Fiji Time: 2:20 PM on Wednesday 25 November

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Conviction on record

Shalveen Chand
Saturday, May 31, 2014

AN American national who attempted to bring in guns and ammunition into the country had his sentence changed after the High Court reviewed it.

Sonny Blake was convicted of bribing a Customs officer and possession of firearms without a license by the Magistrates Court.

He was given a 12-month jail term suspended for five years, fined $1000 and conviction not recorded.

In his judgment Justice Paul Madigan said in this age where commercial intercourse was paramount and where the nation's economy depended on honesty and propriety of commercial transactions, bribery was a canker that undermined economic growth and discouraged investment.

He said bribery of public officials was more serious as it attacked the integrity of government and it injured the moral fibre of government officials while it served to disadvantage the underprivileged and the poor.

Justice Madigan said the admitted facts disclosed that the import of arms and ammunition was effected in rather suspicious circumstances.

He added the accused had attempted on at least three occasions to prevent revelations of the gun.

Justice Madigan ordered that Blake's conviction be recorded.

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