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8 years for arson

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, June 12, 2014

TWO men who set fire to the Government Buildings in Suva were sentenced to eight years in jail by the High Court yesterday.

Isikeli Nakato, 38, and Atonia Matairatu, 48, were convicted of arson on March 14 this year after a trial lasting two weeks.

According to the facts of the case, Nakato and Matairatu were security officers with Matrix Security company.

On June 25 in 2012, Nakato was offered $5000 by a third party to set fire to the Court Six block at the Government Buildings.

Judge Justice Salesi Temo said Nakato and Matairatu returned later that day with a gallon of diesel and set fire to the building and they fled the scene.

He said the fire was noticed by the court security guard who put the fire out.

Justice Temo said by setting fire to the building, the two men had challenged the judiciary, which was essential for the orderly function of the society.

He said this act was a threat to the wellbeing of the society and an attack on the public's purse as the Government Buildings were made with taxpayers' money.

The two men become eligible for parole after serving seven years.

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