Weak investigation, unreliable witness set three free of theft charges

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THREE men were acquitted over multiple charges of theft on grounds of weak police investigation and an unreliable prime witness.

Mohd Nazim Arni, Macfy Jos Henris and Pg Aminulakbar Pg Hj Badaruddin were facing 10 charges in total for offences against property namely theft of batteries, cars and laptops between September 1 and October 23 in 2013.

During the trial, Pg Aminulakbar was represented by defence counsel Hj Mohamad Rozaiman Hj Abd Rahman while Nazim and Macfy were unrepresented.

Senior magistrate Azrimah Hj Abd Rahman in delivering her verdict raised her concerns on the quality of the police investigations, namely the unreliable statements recorded due to numerous inconsistencies as well as issues that were not cross-examined further by the prosecution.

“The police were sloppy in their investigations and it shows how careless the police were, thus raising doubts in the credibility of the officers investigating the cases,” said the senior magistrate.

The court further deemed the prime witness, co-accused Hj Awang Japar Hj Mahmuddin, as an unreliable witness due to his inconsistencies in giving evidence during the trial.

“I am of the view that with the evidence remains after the contents of the statements were not taken into account, it is unsafe to convict the defendants,” said the senior magistrate.

The Brunei Times