The former Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Finance manager, Bernard Bropleh, last Monday, walked free out of Criminal Court ‘C, after his prison sentence was suspended by Judge Yussif Kaba.
Judge Kaba also ordered Bropleh, who he found guilty of stealing US$17,208.34 from the FDA, to pay back the money within a year.
The Criminal Court Judge further ordered Bropleh to perform community service of three hours daily, five days a week, at the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) for a period of six months.
“Bropleh will be monitored and supervised by the authority of the Paynesville City Corporation,” Judge Kaba stated.
He further ruled that “Bropleh would also be turned over to the Probation Section of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), so that his activities would be monitored for a period of two years, to ensure that he engages in no act of financial malpractices or any (similar) act(s) during the two year period.”
Bropleh throughout the trial confessed that he stole US$17,208.34 from the FDA, but said it was with the intention to engage in business activity and was not intended to unduly deprive government of its revenue.
In his confession to the court and the prosecution, Bropleh pleaded guilty to stealing US$17,208.34 and asked the court to grant him forgiveness and to have him restitute the money.
He also asked the court to allow him to pay back the money within a year and to render community service in a location where he would be monitored.
He went ahead to promise by saying “If my appeal is accepted and approved, I would do nothing to delay the payment of the amount.”
Bropleh also apologized, describing his action as “error of judgment.”
On Monday, Judge Kaba took less than an hour to find Bropleh guilty.
In his ruling, the Criminal Court Judge said, “This court noted with keen interest that the defendant in these proceedings has shown his conduct when he was made to plead to the charged that he indeed regretted his action.”
Since this is the case, Judge Kaba added, “this court hereby grants the request of the defendant for a suspended sentence and he has to pay the money within one year.”
Instructing the Court Clerk, Judge Kaba declared, “The Clerk of this court is hereby ordered to do a communication to the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), and to the Probation Section of the MOJ to give effect to this judgment.”