Corruption trial verdict in November

National 2 minutes, 47 seconds


THE Magistrates’ Court will deliver a verdict in November in a corruption case involving an Anti-Corruption Bureau officer who is accused of informing a man that he was being investigated.

On August 9, 2010, in the vicinity of a beach near the Sea View Hotel on Jalan Maulana in Kuala Belait, Munusamy Khanan Ponraj, Assistant Special Investigator Grade III attached to the bureau’s Kuala Belait branch, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse is accused of disclosing to a man that he was the subject of an investigation relating to a corruption case.

During the trial before Magistrate Harnita Zelda Skinner, prosecuting officer Shamshuddin Hj Kamaluddin called a total of 10 witnesses while defence counsel Ahmad Zakaria called Munusamy to testify in his defence against the charge.

In his evidence in court, Munusamy said that on June 24, 2010, all the Kuala Belait branch ACB officers and senior labour officers including himself attended a goodwill meeting at the Labour Office in Kuala Belait. A man named Awang Bakri Mat Said also attended the meeting. On the same day, he gave his number to Awang Bakri.

Munusamy said that on August 9, 2010, “out of goodwill”, he contacted Awang Bakri and made an arrangement to meet him to discuss an important matter.

The two met that day in the parking lot of Eng Hong Supermarket and later headed to a hut near the beach behind Soon Lee Supermarket on Jalan Maulana in Kuala Belait.

There, Munusamy told Awang Bakri that the ACB might receive a ‘Surat Layang’ or chain letter that he had learned of through his daughter and her business partner.

“I didn’t disclose to Bakri that he was under ACB investigation. I just mentioned to him that he MIGHT be called to be investigated by the ACB,” said Munusamy.

Munusamy added that he only knew that an investigation into Awang Bakri had been launched while attending a briefing on September 4, 2010. The briefing was on a decision to conduct an inspection of a company on September 6, 2010.

“When I met Bakri on August 9, 2010, the information I disclosed to him was in relation to the ‘Surat Layang’.

“At the time, I wasn’t aware whether my boss at the ACB had actually received any ‘Surat Layang’ and didn’t disclose it to anyone until the investigation by the ACB commenced,” he said.

He added that only his boss and his confidential secretary knew of the contents of the ‘Surat Layang’.

“To the best of my knowledge, as an ACB investigator, the investigation on any cases carried out by the ACB shall only commence when the team members attend their briefing,” said Munusamy.

He said that on September 6, 2010, an operation to conduct a search at the company was carried out by himself and other team members.

Meanwhile, the ‘Surat Layang’ that was received by the ACB on July 27, 2010, was confiscated by the ACB on April 10, 2011 and May 28, 2011. On May 28, 2011, a search was conducted at Munusamy’s home by ACB officers.

During the proceedings yesterday, the court scheduled September for both the prosecution and defence counsel to file their submissions on the case. It further set November 5 to deliver its verdict on the case.

The penalty under section 35 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 131, carries a fine of $20,000 and one year imprisonment.

Munusamy has been released on $10,000 bail and one local surety.

The Brunei Times