Biggest courts stories in 2014

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THERE were several major cases brought to courts which made headlines throughout 2014.

Thefts and robberies were the most common cases heard in court but the most notable was the case which involved three men, Hj Jumat Hj Jaya, 39, Shari Jarudin, 45, and Mohammad Sedikan Bujang, 32, who broke into over 15 mosques in the Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait district while also caused damage to property as they stole from the donation boxes.

Hj Jumat and Sahri are each serving an 11-year jail term and eight strokes of the cane while Mohammad Sediken was ordered to serve a 12-year imprisonment with nine strokes of the cane as he had caused most of the property damage.

There were also two false report cases to the police which caught the nation’s attention as it made into the headlines.

One of the cases involved a man allegedly assaulted by armed men while he was in Miri, Malaysia.

However, following further investigation, it turned out the defendant was involved in a scuffle with another person over a girl.

Another case of false information that went viral on the social media involved a pregnant woman who was allegedly tied up and robbed by armed men.

This turned out to be a ruse to kick out her sister-in-law from the house over some issues between her and defendant Dk Nurhalizah Pg Shahminan.

Dk Nurhalizah and her friend, Ismawi Aswandi Ismail, 30, were eventually each imposed a jail sentence after they pleaded guilty for their role in staging the robbery.

The Brunei courts also delivered a death penalty verdict on a Kenyan woman found guilty of trafficking over three kilogrammes of drugs worth $2.8 million.

An appeal against the sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal stating that “the defendant, Jusca Millicent Ojwang, had concocted the story to disassociate herself from the four packets”.

In 2014, it was the first time that a company was imposed a hefty fine for failure to make contributions to his employee in last four years.

The Court imposed an $80,000 fine or serve 13 years and four months in jail on the director of a printing company, Nyuk Lian Printing Company for comitting the offense.

With the popularity of using social media as a way to communicate, there were some cases of abuse in using the technology.

Primary example was the case of a man who was charged and claimed trial when accused of extortion from two men by allegedly threatening to post the victims’ nude pictures online.

The defendant Adie Norfaizal Mohammad, 26, is accused of intentionally putting the men in fear of injury to their reputation by extorting $5,000 and an iPhone from an 18 year-old boy on April 1, followed by another extortion attempt for $3,000 from a 26 year-old man on April 12.

Prosecution told the court that the defendant had allegedly pretended to be a girl on an instant messaging application, WeChat, and that the defendant exchanged messages from both men for a few months before threatening to upload their nude photos to the Internet.

In a more recent case, the swift work of the police led to the arrest of a 22-year old man who was involved in robbery and the rape of a foreign exchange student that took place at a Tutong hostel.

Yurawandy Bujang, was sentenced to serve 17 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane after he admitted to the serious offences. In his mitigation, Yurawandy told the court that he committed the offence because he was “thirsty”.

While there were cases of domestic abuse and assault, none was more disheartening than the case of a man who, during a drunken rage, had beaten up his parents.

Muhammad Sulaimi Abdullah/Sabat @ Toni Ak Sabat, had gotten drunk from drinking whisky during a Gawai celebration when he got into a scuffle with his father who had told him not to drive as he was intoxicated. The defendant’s mother, who tried to intervene, ended up having beaten up badly by her son which left her unconscious.

This assault was followed by another incident when the mother tried to intervene a fight between her husband and son but the defendant took a waist belt and whipped his mother on her forehead. He also punched his mother’s shoulder and made her unconscious.

When Sulaimi was brough to court, he pleaded guilty to the charges and he was sentenced to serve four years in jail.

As 2015 draws nearer, there are already several serious cases that will be heard in the courts.

Among them is the trial of a Filipino man accused of murdering a local. The trial will be heard before the High Court on March 2 to April 1, 2015.

Meanwhile, the Intermediate Court will be hearing the case of a 20-year-old accused of robbing a petrol station at knife point.

He will be on trial next year.

The defendant, Hj Muhammad Dhiyaulhaq Hj Ariffin, is accused of stealing $3,900 from the Mar’azmala Petrol Station, Jerudong on September 16 at about 9.50pm where he allegedly used a machete to threaten one of the staff.

Hj Muhammad Dhiyaulhaq, who is represented by defence counsel Hj Mohammad Rozaiman, has been released on a $10,000 court bail pending the start of the trial on May 18, 2015.

An Indian man who was charged on December 24 with murder and attempted murder will be appearing in court on January 5, 2015 after he undergoes his psychiatric evaluation.

Sekar Appavu, 45, on December 20, is accused of murder by intentionally causing the death of Rajendran Kumarasami, 45, while at the vicinity of UBD Green House, Jalan Tungku Link in Gadong.

It went on to state that on the same day, Sekar is accused of attempting to murder Pazhanivelu Sivalinkam, 40, with a one metre-long wooden stick.

While serious cases have been brought forward to be processed in the courts, these show that the legal system is operating at its fullest when it deals with matters that concerns public safety and national security through swift and decisive action and thus ensuring that the Brunei law is upheld while peace and harmony are maintained.

The Brunei Times