Conviction, sentence of RTB clerk quashed for unfair trial
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A CLERK at Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) who was convicted of making false payment claims against her employer was acquitted yesterday following an appeal at the High Court.
The Court quashed the conviction as the judicial commissioner who heard the appeal stated “there were too many unsatisfactory features” regarding the case.
The appellant, Sa’adiah Tudin, was accused of submitting payment vouchers containing false claims of $100 against her employer.
The prosecution alleged that the contents of the payment voucher were false and that the appellant pocketed $100 some time in July 2007.
Sa’adiah had claimed trial against the charge.
At the end of the trial, Sa’adiah was convicted on May 11, 2013 and sentenced to nine months in jail.
The trial magistrate granted a stay of execution or a temporary delay of the jail sentence pending the defendant’s appeal.
The appeal was heard before Judicial Commissioner James Kerr Findlay on March 28.
Ahmad Zakaria Muhammad, who represented the defendant, had said Sa’adiah’s conviction was wrong.
He added that the prosecution had failed to produce the original document as primary evidence.
Likewise, the prosecution did not present a material witness in the trial.
The judicial commissioner said Hjh Salmaya Hj Md Hussain, head of RTB’s Youth and Children Unit where Sa’adiah worked as a clerk, should also have been called as a witness for the prosecution to prove that the appellant had deceived her principal.
He went on to say that that he had no doubt that the appellant had been dishonest, but she was entitled to have evidence presented in a proper and fair manner.
“There were just too many unsatisfactory features in this case to satisfy me that the appellant had a fair trial. In the result I find that the conviction is unsafe and unsatisfactory and the appeal succeeds. The conviction and sentence are set aside,” said the judicial commissioner.
The Brunei Times