26 Sep 2006

Jailed former Solomons minister to repay stolen money

6:04 pm on 26 September 2006

The former Solomon Islands Health Minister jailed for stealing Taiwanese aid money meant for a project in his constituency will still have to pay the money.

Benjamin Una has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for theft for stealing 5,000 US dollars provided for a cattle project in July last year.

A month ago, Una asked the Honiara Magistrates court to give him a month to reimburse the money, but the court was told that he had only paid 686 US dollars.

Presiding magistrate Barnabas Upwe, who rejected a request from Una to be given another month to pay the money, says it must still be reimbursed:

"For the whole amount that he misused. So what I did was that, in addition to the term of imprisonment, I made a restitution order, made an order that his vehicle be sold and then the money to be paid to the victim of the case."