Former judge’s jail sentence, fine reduced

Former judge’s jail sentence, fine reduced

KUALA LUMPUR,. The Shah Alam High Court has reduced the jail sentence of a former Sessions Court judge convicted of corruption from six months to one day.

Judge Hasbullah Adam also reduced the fine imposed by the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Oct 19, 2022, against Azmil Muntapha Abas, 50, from RM25,000 to RM12,000 for the offence after allowing his appeal.

However, Hasbullah rejected the former Kuala Kubu Bharu Sessions Court judge’s appeal to set aside his conviction after finding that there was no merit to interfere with the lower court’s findings and decision in the case in accordance with Section 316 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Therefore, the conviction is safe,” said the judge in his grounds of judgement issued last Friday (Dec 29).

Hasbullah set aside the sentence handed down by the Sessions Court judge and replaced it with a day’s imprisonment and a fine of RM12,000, in default three months’ jail, after finding that there was merit in the appellant’s appeal.

He said the offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code provides for a maximum two-year term in jail or a fine or both, but there was no mandatory provision requiring imprisonment.

“The key element of the offence was receiving a valuable item without without reciprocity. This is different from the main offence under Section 17(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission 2009, which provides for a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of five times the amount of gratification,” he said.

Hasbullah said the court also took into account the role of the fourth prosecution witness (SP4) Shah Alam High Court deputy registrar Ahmad Feisal Mohd Azmi as a “temptation” to the appellant by offering money.

“It was the active role of SP4 who ensured that the giving (of the money) took place even though the appellant had said that he could not agree to the proposed sentencing,” he said, adding that the court also took into consideration Azmil Muntapha’s 17-year service from 2001 to 2018.

Azmil Muntapha was charged in his capacity as a Sessions Court judge to have obtained for himself RM5,000 without consideration from a person who he knew had connection with his official function involving court proceedings of six accused persons in criminal cases.

The six accused are Chin Yat Soong, Yap Chiew Tat, Chin See Shak, Pang Kooi Fook, Yap Swee Ming and Chin Chee Keong, who were charged under Section 9 of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 (Act 289).

They were fined by Azmil Muntapha for the offence.

Azmil Muntapha was charged with committing the offence at Maybank Setia Alam 2, near here on May 10, 2018.

The charge, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, provides for an imprisonment for up to two years or fine, or both, if found guilty.

— BERNAMA

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