KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Hamimah Idruss became the first person to be convicted under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 and was sentenced to 38 years jail and a RM6.39mil fine.
A Sessions Court found her guilty on Wednesday of eight counts of money laundering and 10 counts of abetting involving RM41.3mil.
Judge Asmadi Hussin concluded that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt against Hamimah at the end of their case.
The court sentenced her to one year jail for each of the eight counts and three years each for another 10 counts of abetting.
Asmadi ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
Hamimah, 64, a former director of Syarikat Safire Pharmaceuticals (M) Sdn Bhd, was charged under Section 4(1) of Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 for receiving RM41.33mil in illegal gains between June 3 and 10, 2003, which provides for a fine of up to RM5mil or five years maximum imprisonment or both. She also faced 10 counts of abetting her staff Yusaini Wan Abi Sabian, 42, to falsify 10 agreements under Safire Pharmaceuticals worth US$1.2mil (RM4.56mil) each, under Section 109 of the Penal Code.
Harvinderjit Singh appealed for a lenient sentence earlier in the proceedings Wednesday, saying his client suffered from diabetes and had been fully cooperative throughout the seven-year trial and that she was a first offender.
DPP Robert Pasang Alam, however, urged the court to impose a stiff sentence due to the seriousness of the offence and as it involved public interest.
"This case involved an international company from abroad and indirectly portrayed Malaysia in a bad light and affected its image and reputation," he submitted.
Robert, in his submission, also added that the accused had disposed of RM6,394,530.72 and that the court could order her to pay that sum as a fine.
Robert further argued that Hamimah clearly used her authority as a medical practitioner in committing the offence by manipulating her staff Yusaini and making her forge the signatures of Pharmaniaga chief executive officer Dr Effendi Tenang and former deputy health minister Datuk Seri Dr Suleiman Mohamed.
The court then allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal, which will filed by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh at the High Court by Thursday.
Asmadi also ordered Hamimah's bail to be increased from RM800,000 to RM1mil with two sureties, her passport to be impounded and for her to report to the Bangi police headquarters once a month.
The trial commenced on July 12, 2005 with 54 prosecution witnesses and three defence witnesses, including the accused. - Bernama