Former Tuvalu PM Convicted Of Corruption, Abuse Of Office

Ielemia to serve one year jail term on week-ends; will remain opposition MP

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 29, 2016) – Tuvalu's former prime minister Apisai Ielemia has been convicted and jailed on corruption and abuse of office charges.

Ielemia, Tuvalu's Prime Minister for four years from August 2006 to September 2010, was last month jailed for 12 months by Chief Magistrate Simon Kofe after finding him guilty on four counts of abuse of office.

Islands Business reports that in a rare departure from the norm, Chief Magistrate Kofe further ruled that the 12 month jail term should only be served during weekends.

This frees Ielemia to continue to live with his family in Funafuti, the capital, during the week.

He will reportedly be able to continue to serve as an MP - he is currently with the opposition.

The charges stemmed from late in Ielemia's term, when on four occasions starting in November 2009, the former leader received over US$15,000 from two foreign interests.

Japanese and Taiwanese interests were named in an abuse of office trial against Ielemia.

The money was deposited into his National Bank of Tuvalu personal account, which he admitted in his cautioned interview with the Tuvalu Police and again at trial.

Ielemia said he used the money for the benefit of others.

Radio New Zealand International
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