FORMER central Makira Member of Parliament (MP) who was found guilty of misusing more than $66,000 intended for tree farmers in his constituency in 2013 will be sentenced today.
Hypolite Taremae was found guilty after a trial of one count of conversion.
The conversion charge relates to the incident in Honiara in 2014.
This was in relation to $66, 105. 92 that was intended for funding a reforestation Project for tree farmers in Central Makira constituency.
Taremae collected the cheque from the Ministry of Forestry and the cheque was paid on 28 November 2013.
The court had heard that when he collected the cheque, he was also given a list of farmers.
Taremae in his evidence at the trial said he took the cheque and the list of farmers and went to the Makira Provincial Forestry Office in Kirakira.
He said he asked the forestry officers at Kirakira to reassess the list of farmers.
Taremae said he had identified several issues with the list he received from the Ministry of Forest thus the need for reassessment.
He also said that he instructed the forestry officers in Kirakira to advise tree farmers in the constituency to submit their application to access the funds.
According to Taremae, he held on to the cheque and list of farmers from 28 November 2013 to 2 April 2014.
The court further heard Taremae claimed that during this time, he had been waiting for the Forestry Office of Makira Provincial Government to compile a list of farmers as he had instructed but his directions were not followed.
Taremae then said that on 2 April 2014 he decided to deposit the SIG cheque that he collected from the Ministry of Forestry into the Central Makira Constituency account.
That same day he withdrew $66,105 from the Constituency account in his own name and then deposited the exact amount into his own personal account at ANZ bank.
In his evidence, he said the decision to deposit the money into his own personal account is so that he can easily withdraw monies to assist him to maintain certain parts of his constituency at his home.
He claimed that members of his constituency who were living at his residence at the time agreed to this cause of action.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN