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Cop jailed, fined RM10,000 for accepting bribe

8th December, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: A Sarawakian policeman was sentenced to six months’ jail and fined RM10,000 in default A month’s jail for corruptly receiving RM500 from a Filipina.

Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Manat passed the sentence on Lance Corporal Awang Mohamad Awang Sahari, 40, after ruling that he was found guilty of the charge framed under Section 17(a) of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act (MACC) 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act.

The indictment provides for an imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe, or up to RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Awang had received the bribe from Meriam Husin inside a car in Lorong Ceri here between 1pm and 2.30pm on March 11, 2010.

The money was an inducement of not taking action against Meriam and another man, Jhon Cleent Leonie who did not have any valid travel document at the time.

In the defense stage, the prosecution had called in seven witnesses to testify, while the defence had presented two witnesses.

Abu Bakar in his judgment said he had considered both parties’ submissions and found that the accused failed to raise any reasonable doubts about the purpose of receiving the money.

Even during the trial, Awang Mohamad denied that the money was a bribe as he claimed it was a relief fund to repair his damaged motorcycle.

The accused who was represented by counsel Goldam Hamid pleaded for leniency as he is a single father of two teenage girls, aged between 14 and 15 years old.

He also had served the Royal Malaysian Police for 18 years and this is his first criminal offence.

According to Goldam, there is no doubt that one of the reasons why his client let Meriam and Jhon go was due to mercy and compassion towards Meriam’s children.

In reply, prosecuting officer Awang Shamsul Baharam from the MACC Department urged for a deterrent sentence since the accused was a policeman and in this case, it involved a foreign woman.

This action could harm the security of both the state and the country, if the released individual is involved in terrorism.

He added that the accused should be more aware of the consequences of corruption which not only affect his position, but his children as well.

Goldam responded that the Meriam referred in this case was not a terrorist as she was free to travel throughout this case, therefore the allegation that the accused’s action of releasing the couple could result to a threat to national security is excessive and improper.

The court ordered bail of RM5,000 to be returned to the sureties. – NEDM

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