BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A FORMER senior education officer at the Ministry of Education was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison after he was convicted for taking a $35,000 bribe as a reward to award a company a three-year contract to supply food and drinks at a primary school.
Senior Magistrate Hj Nabil Daraina PDH Badaruddin yesterday further ordered a $35,000 fine on Hj Juhari Hj Muda @ Usop and if unpaid, the defendant will serve the in default sentence of six months in prison.
Hj Juhari, the former acting head of School Feeding Scheme and Hostel Section, claimed trial in 2014 over the charge of accepting a $35,000 bribe from a representative of Syarikat Daizie on July 1, 2013, as an inducement for promising to award a three-year contract to the company for the supply of food and drinks to Dato Marsal Primary School in Kg Perpindahan Lambak Kanan.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharon Yeo called a total of nine witnesses for the trial.
During the trial, Hj Juhari denied that he agreed to accept and receive money from Noradiwati, who knew Hj Juhari as her father’s friend working at the Ministry of Education.
Noradiwati acted as a middle person between Hj Juhari and an agent for Syarikat Daizie.
Hj Juhari tried to explain that he was not sure what Noradiwati meant in the text messages he had received leading up to their meeting on July 1, 2013.
While he did meet up with Noradiwati, Hj Juhari claimed that it was just for casual conversation and denied any money having exchanged hands.
In delivering the verdict yesterday, Senior Magistrate Hj Nabil Daraina PDH Badaruddin concluded that Hj Juhari was not a credible witness and accepted the prosecution witnesses’ evidence that they were tasked to negotiate with the defendant an acceptable monetary amount as gratification.
“I find the defendant has failed to rebut the presumption of corrupt element in the transaction alleged for the charge,” said the senior magistrate.
“In summary, after evaluating the whole of admissible evidence led by the prosecution tested against the evidence given by the defendant, I find that he had failed to rebut the presumptions against him and rebut the allegations made by the company representatives. I therefore find him guilty as charged”.
The Brunei Times