Oil firm officer to plead guilty to corruption

National 1 minute, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A SENIOR Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) employee implicated in the corruption scandal involving the Manager of Musfada Enterprise David Chong yesterday told the Magistrates’ Court that he would like to reverse his earlier denial and plead guilty to the charges he is facing. 

Sabeli Ismail, a senior offshore platform administration at the West Operation Department of BSP, had earlier pleaded not guilty in July 2015 to 23 counts of corruptly accepting $72,335 and $300 worth of hampers between 2006 and July 2009 as a reward for creating work orders for the purchases of chemical agents for BSP. 

The prosecution team, represented by Hri Kumar Nair of Drew & Napier LLC, told the presiding Chief Magistrate Muhammed Faisal PDJLD DSP Hj Kefli that after discussions between the parties, the defendant has decided not to go ahead with the trial that had been set to begin on Novermber 21 and plead guilty instead. 

The prosecution then applied to the chief magistrate to vacate the trial dates and set the next mention at the earliest possible date. 

Defence Counsel Hj Mohd Rozaiman DSLJ Hj Abd Rahman, representing the defendant, responded by saying that his client would like for the case to be disposed of “in earnest”. 

The presiding chief magistrate then granted the prosecution’s application and set the next mention date be on November 5 this year while also maintaining the defendant's bail. The defendant is facing up to seven years in jail and a $30,000 fine under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act for each of the corruption charge. 

If he duly pleads guilty at the next mention, he would be the second of eight current and former BSP employees who were charged together in July 2015 for profiting over $800,000 in bribes to be convicted following the five-year prison sentence handed down to the former Supply Chain Management Support Officer Aidah Tengah in August this year. 

The Brunei Times