Burundi-Justice: People accused of misappropriation of public funds prosecuted.

The Burundi Anti-Corruption Court sat Thursday in open court at Bujumbura, to examine some records of people prosecuted for embezzlement of public funds. Those who pleaded had already been tried and sentenced in absentia.

After the meaning of judgment, they made appeals for them to be heard by the Court. Some of those prosecuted were Onesphore K who is being prosecuted for embezzling 708,856 BIF. He is accused of continuing unlawfully getting his teaching salary when he was appointed Ninga Zone Chief in Kayanza province.

He pleaded guilty. He indicated that he has already repaid the amount and submitted a paper of no accountability issued by the Ministry of Public Service. He added that he will not re-offend and begged for the pardon from the judges.

The representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office asked the Court to verify whether he actually reimbursed, to oblige him to repay if he has not done so and to punish the offense with two years’ imprisonment, less than five years in prison required in the first judicial proceedings. The case was taken
under advisement and the judgment will be pronounced on December 27, 2018.

Mr. Nicolas N is prosecuted by the public prosecutor for diverting 2,264,000 BIF, representing a portion of the book and lab fees at the time he was director of the Lycée communal Mpumbu in Rusaka commune of Mwaro province. A ministerial order required school principals to deposit these funds into an account opened at the Central Bank (BRB).

The accused pleaded not guilty, explaining that he was depositing the money himself at the BRB, but that
sometimes he assigned the job to someone from the provincial directorate of education. Since he did not have documents proving it, the Court returned the case to 14 January 2019 to allow it to gather the evidence and read the file.

On the other hand, Mr. Gaspard N prosecuted for having embezzled 1 218 000 BIF (book costs and
laboratory) while he was a director at the Kagwema Communal High School in Muyinga Province pleaded
guilty and pledged to repay. However, it considers that this amount should be reduced by the amount he left to his successor during the delivery and resumption during the 2006-2007 school year.

As the Public Ministry viewed that the 2006-2007 school year is not part of the prevention and that the accused was saying that the year is part of prevention, the case was postponed to February 2019 to allow the accused to prove this and to the Public Ministry to show how he calculated this amount.

Gervais S and Godefroid M are being prosecuted for misappropriating funds from the sale of chemical fertilizers during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 crop seasons. They pleaded guilty and are committed to repaying. The 1st will repay 346,875 BIF while Godefroid should repay 1,235,125 BIF.

The latter said that this amount is greater than the money he owes and showed some installment slips that should be subtracted. The representative of the public prosecutor’s office requested for both the reimbursement of misused, a five-year prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 BIF each, contrary to the
of 10 years required in the 1st trial.

The defense asked for the reduction of the prison sentence, explaining that it will be difficult for them to pay back in the event of imprisonment. The file was taken the judgment will be pronounced on January 10, 2019. The Board advised the appellants repay before pronouncement for their interest.

Four other cases of the appellants convicted by default who did not, either, appear December was taken under advisement without being pleaded. The representative of the Public Prosecution asked the Court to confirm the first judgments.

The public prosecutor also asked the Court to apply the law and not to receive the appeal
after the expiry of the 30-day appeal period by a certain Patrice N.

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