Following six rounds of trial the Dili District Court sentenced Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato to pay a fine and to five years imprisonment on corruption charges. “The Court absolved me of several charges but found me guilty of corruption. I will also have to pay the State $4,000. I was sentenced to five years in jail for the crimes,” said accused Lobato (08/06) after hearing her sentence at the Dili District Court, Dili.
Lobato was accused and charged with committing corruption in regards to the case of the purchasing of uniforms for the prison guards of the Prison Facilities, in Becora and Gleno. Lobato said she would not appeal the court’s decision and as a citizen she was ready to accept the court’s sentence.“Four witnesses said I did corruption, that is why the court sentenced me to five years in jail and accused me of corruption,” said accused Lobato.“It is best I accept the sentence of five years in prison because it is the court’s decision. If this is the only way for justice to prevail in Timor, I have to abide by the ruling,” she said.Meanwhile Lobato’s defence lawyer Sergio Hornai said he will still try to appeal the decision of the court even though it goes against the wishes of his client.“I can understand my client’s words but as her defence counsel I must interpret her situation with greater prudence and see the merits of the case,” said Hornai.He added the decision of the court is not final and his client still has 15 days to appeal the decision. The trial was presided by Chief Judge Idete Palmira, and Judges Paulo Teixera and Jose Maria Araujo. For the Public Ministry Prosecutors Felismino Cardoso, Jose Ximenes and Angelina Saldanha and for the accuse Defence counsellors Sergio Hornai, Fernando de Carvalho and Cancio Xavier.
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