Wednesday, July 8

Corruption: Customs duo’s appeal dismissed


KOTA KINABALU: The Court of Appeal here yesterday dismissed the appeal by two Customs Department enforcement personnel against three corruption convictions.

Justice Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim, who sat together with justices Datuk Linton Albert and Dato’ Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim unanimously affirmed the sentence imposed on Alzendra K Johnny Upin and senior Customs enforcement assistant Ajin Sollunda by the High Court here, which allowed the appeal by the prosecution against the duo’s acquittal.

However, the appellate court ordered Alzendra to serve the jail term for the third charge to run concurrently with the first and second charges.

The High Court here had on Feb 20, 2013, set aside their acquittal by the Corruption Court here and sentenced them to jail and fine for all the bribery charges.

On the first count, the two appellants were each jailed two years and fined RM90,000, in default, three months’ jail for asking for RM18,000 from a man as inducement not to take action against him for allegedly possessing a smuggled car. They committed the offence at a restaurant in Berungis, Tuaran on Feb 11, 2010.

On the second charge, they were each sentenced to another two years’ imprisonment and received RM25,000 fine, in default, three months’ jail for receiving RM5,000 from the same person for the same purpose in front of a supermarket at Jalan SESB here the same day.

For the third count Alzendra was jailed one year and fined RM30,000, in default, three months’ jail for receiving another RM6,000 from the same man also for a similar reason at the restaurant on March 4, 2010.

The first count was framed under Section 16(a) (B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 while the second and third counts were each framed under Section 17 (a) (B) of the same Act.

Each of the charges, which is punishable under Section 24 of the same act, carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times of the bribe amount or RM10,000 depending on which amount is higher, upon conviction.

The High Court Justice had ordered all the jail terms to run consecutively.

Deputy public prosecutor Joyce Blasius appeared for the respondent while Alzendra was represented by counsel Hamid Ismail and counsel Sugumar Balakrishnan acted for Ajin.

In an unrelated case, the same court allowed an appeal by the prosecution against the acquittal of a local man by the High Court for bribing a policeman.

In their decision, the judges unanimously set aside the High Court’s decision on Chee Nyit Khen, 30, and restored his sentence and conviction imposed by the Sessions Court which is three months’ jail and RM10,000 fine, in default, three months’ imprisonment.

The jail sentence was ordered to run from yesterday.

The charge stated that the respondent had bribed a police sergeant of the Narcotics Department of RM500 as an inducement not to take a urine test on him at an entertainment outlet at Jalan Hj Karim Estate on September 30, 2007.

The respondent was defended by counsel James Tsai.