Two policemen convicted of corruption for taking $40
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Magistrates’ Court yesterday convicted two policemen of corruption and each could face up to seven years in jail and be fined with $30,000.
Section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 131) states that a government officer found guilty of accepting gratification and in return for failure to take action on an offence could face a maximum fine of $30,000 and up to seven years in jail.
The defendants Amirul Izzat Hj Yahya and Mat Zidi Hj Jumat were found guilty of extortion after accepting $40 to turn a blind eye on the complainant’s offence of driving without wearing a seatbelt on July 22, 2009.
In delivering the verdict yesterday, Senior Magistrate Dk Masni Pg Hj Bahar dismissed the evidence from both defendants when they told the court it was the complainant who first made the offer to treat them.
The senior magistrate said that while the complainant did give the $40 to the defendants, he did not possess the criminal intention to offer bribe.
“I believed in the complainant does not have that criminal intent to bribe the defendants. He was intimidated by the defendant’s action,” said the senior magistrate.
The intimidation on the complainant was when Amirul Izzat wrote down the complainant’s name, address and asked for his phone number, ownership of the car and when both defendants showed the complainant the brown book and told him that he could be charged in court if they issue out summon against him, the verdict stressed.
“I do not find that Amirul Izzat is a credible witness at all. I find that his conduct when dealing with the complainant on the day in question led to an undeniable assumption that the defendant asked bribe money from the complai-nant,” said the senior magistrate.
“While it was the defendant’s duty to check the validity of the complainant’s identity card and driving license, but when Amirul Izzat went to the extent of asking the complainant’s phone number and address, it gave rise to the defendant’s intention,” the senior magistrate further said.
Amirul Izzat told the court that the reason he recorded the defendant’s address and phone number was that he planned to tell his colleagues to watch out for the complainant.
The senior magistrate found the act unacceptable and tantamount to putting undue fear to the complainant and the delay in the complainant making a police report against both defendants.
The senior magistrate said that she could not comprehend the reason for showing the brown book to the complainant and making comment that the complainant may be charged in court if they were to issue the summons against him.
“The conduct of Amirul Izzat goes to show that he has the intention to intimidate the complai-nant. This also raise question as to what was the defendant’s intention of doing so,” said the senior magistrate.
Furthermore, the defendant had contradicted his evidence when he told the court that they have no power to issue summon for road traffic offender since they are tasked to execute warrant and to serve summon.
The senior magistrate said that the defendant’s intention to pull the complainant to the side to give a stern warning did not make sense why the defendant had to record the complainant’s full details.
The court also refused to accept Amirul Izzat’s statement when he said that he was unaware that he has to report the matter to his superior about the complainant offering bribe.
“I believed that the defendant did not report the matter to his superior because he asked bribe money from the complainant and that he received the bribe money,” said the senior magistrate.
Meanwhile, on the court’s find-ing on Mat Zidi’s evidence, the senior magistrate said that she does not find the defendant a credible witness due to his inconsistent evidence.
The senior magistrate believed that Mat Zidi’s action by opening the glove compartment to show the complainant the brown book goes to show that there is a mee-ting of mind between both defendants and that he knew what Ami-rul Izzat was trying to do, which is to intimidate the complainant and for the latter to offer something to them. “By virtue of both defen-dant’s conduct, I believe that the defendants have formed the intention to intimidate the complainant and to lure him to give them a bit of mo-ney in order for them not to take any action against the complai-nant for failing to wear seat belt whilst driving,” said the senior magistrate.
“I do not find Amirul Izzat and Mat Zidi credible and that I disbelieve both defendants when they deny asking the complainant for a bit of money,” said the senior magistrate.
During the proceedings yester-day, the senior magistrate scheduled for a mention on January 5, 2015 for the defendant’s counsel Ahmad Zakaria to deliver mitigation on behalf of his clients. Both Amirul Izzat and Mat Zidi, have been ordered to be remanded yesterday pending the further mention of the case and sentencing.
The Brunei Times