Jail sentence for graft case halted

National 1 minute, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A ROYAL Customs and Excise officer who was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail for corruptly accepting gratification was granted a stay of execution yesterday pending the Court of Appeal session.

The defendant Hj Mazlan Hj Shahbuddin, 46, was convicted last week when the presiding magistrate Hjh Hazarena POKSJ DP Hj Hurairah delivered a guilty verdict on the corruption charge of the defendant accepting $400 in gratification from a known fuel smuggler as a reward for not taking action on diesel and petrol smuggling activity.

The court also found the defendant guilty for the charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code which forbids public servants from accepting valuable things from any persons with connection to their official function.

During the proceedings yesterday, the court ordered for the sentence of 18 months in jail for the graft charge to be served concurrently with the 10 months imprisonment for the charge under section 165. The court also ordered for the $400 to be returned to the state.

In passing the sentence, the magistrate stated that corruption must be looked upon gravely and must be dealt with effectually and assertively to deter the general public from committing the same offence.

The magistrate further granted defence counsel Mohd Shazale Salleh application for a stay of execution pending the Court of Appeal hearing.

Deputy public prosecutor Hjh Anifa Rafiza Hj Abd Ghani filed the charge against Hj Mazlan on July 29, 2011 and during the trial the prosecution called a total three witnesses including the fuel smuggler Kan Tet Hiong.

The Brunei Times