Vila Times

Former chairman of Ecole Publique d’Anabrou to repay Vt400,000 within 12 months, Court rules

Former chairman of Ecole Publique d’Anabrou to repay Vt400,000 within 12 months, Court rules
Former chairman of Ecole Publique d’Anabrou to repay Vt400,000 within 12 months, Court rules
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The Magistrate Court has ruled that the sum of Vt400,000 being misappropriated in the beginning of this year by the then Chairman of Ecole Publique d’Anabrou be repaid by the defendant within the period of twelve months.
In her ruling on 29 October on the case No 2512 of 2019 opposing the Francophone School to Antoine Malsungai, Acting Chief Magistrate Anna Laloyer has ruled out an heavy sentence that should be imposed to the former Chairman of Ecole Publique d’Anabrou and decided that the money being stolen be repaid by him.
Antoine Malsungai was accused by the administration of the Francophone School of stealing Vt400,000 when he was Chairman between 1st March 2019 and 31st March 2019.
The Court through Public Prosecutor’s parable of facts assumed that on 14 March 2019, the principal of Ecole Public Anabrou met with the defendant at Jill’s Café to get his signature on some cheques signed by other signatories for the school purposes.
“You signed the cheques and remove a page of the cheque book in the sum of Vt400, 000. The principal noticed that page of the cheque book was missing. She enquired with the National Bank. The Bank confirmed that the Defendant cashed out the cheque in the sum of Vt400, 000VT. On 15 March 2019, the Defendant was confronted by police about the matter. The Defendant admitted that he had taken Vt400, 000 for his personal uses. He was given a position of trust and responsibility which involved the signing of large amounts of money,” said Acting Chief Magistrate.
The accused has no prior conviction of similar offence and the Court treated him as a first offender for the purpose of determining sentence on this case. Prosecution seek 2 years’ imprisonment as a starting point. A 1/3 of the sentence reduced for his guilty plea. The end sentence seek by the prosecution is 1 year 2 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years. Prosecution seek repayment of the sum stole by the defendant to be paid between 1-2 years period.
Mr. Moli who represented the accused informed the Court that the defendant is a freelance writer who gains more than 70, 000vt per month. He argued that his client has means to repay back the money to the Ecole Publique d’Anabrou.
The defendant is 44 years old and married with four children. Defence submitted that the appropriate starting point for the defendant should receive the same as prosecution. He accepted to pay back the sum within a period of 1 year. The period of repayment is similar to prosecution.
“Schools have to play their part in seeing that this type of offence does not continue. Proper supervision, instructions are probably more important in the prevention of crime of this type than the role of the court,” urged Magistrate Anna Laloyer.
She then considered, “Perhaps the worst feature of the accused’s offending here was the fact that throughout the offending he knew that what he is doing is not right. Whatever his grievances, he was not entitled to do what he did. He has pleaded guilty and admitted freely his offending. I give him full credit for this.”
The sentence of the Court is that the accused is sentenced to be imprisoned for 2 years considering the seriousness of the offence. A 1/3 of this sentence is reduced from the sentence. The end sentence that he shall serve is 1 year and 6 months. This sentence shall be suspended 2 years.
On her judgement, Acting Chief Magistrate ordered that the accused pay the sum of Vt400, 000 restitution to Ecole Publique d’Anabrou, recoverable as a civil debt within a period of twelve months.
Antoine Malsunagai was given 14 days to appeal if he wishes to do so against the sentence.