Man acquitted of bribery due to death of main witness

National 1 minute, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Magistrates’ Court yesterday acquitted an Indian man on a charge of bribing a traffic police officer two years ago.

Senior magistrate Azrimah Hj Abd Rahman delivered a not guilty verdict on Anisur Rahman as there was no corrupt element when the 32-year-old produced the $20 to the police officer.

Anisur, who is represented by defence counsel Sheikh Noordin, claimed trial in June last year to the charge of giving a $20 to a police constable from the Traffic Control and Investigation Department, as a reward for not taking any action against him when he failed to stop at the traffic light at the intersection of Jalan Dato Haji Basir in the capital on December 10, 2014.

In her verdict, the senior magistrate went on to say that with the death of the main witness before the trial, there was an absence of evidence, which further raises doubt in the prosecution’s case.

Due to this absence, there is a gap in the prosecution’s case as how the $20 was produced and if anything was said to the main witness to support that it was bribe money. “The court has no chance of hearing it,” said the senior magistrate. The two prosecution witnesses, both police officers at the scene, did not assist the prosecution’s case. There was no evidence to suggest the $20 was offered as a bribe, said the senior magistrate and believed the defendant’s assertion that one of the police officers jumped the gun and assumed that the $20 was bribe money. The court also took into account of Anisur maintaining his innocence both in his statement to the Anti-Corruption Bureau and when he gave evidence in Court.

“I am satisfied the prosecution has not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt and it would be highly unsafe and unsatisfactory to convict the defendant,” said the senior magistrate.

The Brunei Times