KUALA LUMPUR: A police inspector was fined RM2,000 by the High Court here for contempt of court for attempting to intimidate and bribe a witness in a drug trafficking case involving an Australian.
Dominic Jude Bird, 34, from Perth, had applied for the contempt proceedings, accusing Insp Luther Nurjib @ Andrew of violating a court directive by approaching and harassing Mohd Fahrizal Rosli, a witness in Bird’s trial.
Bird’s counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted to the court that on Dec 10 2012, Insp Luther had entered the court lockup where Mohd Fahrizal was being held for another case, and verbally intimidated him while pointing at a printout of a news story of Mohd Fahrizal’s testimony.
Muhammad Shafee added that Insp Luther also attempted to bribe Mohd Fahrizal with RM400 and told him not to inform the defence lawyer that he had visited Mohd Fahrizal in lockup.
This was in spite of there being another person in lockup, who later corroborated that the contemptuous act had happened.
Justice Kamardin Hashim ruled that Bird’s counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Insp Luther had breached the court order he issued on Dec 7 2012.
Justice Kamardin said the court had considered a custodial sentence, but was willing to show leniency as Mohd Fahrizal still testified and thus the action did not prejudice the case.
“However, there has been no attempt by the respondent to purge this contempt proceeding. If you (Insp Luther) had admitted to your actions and offered an apology, the proceedings may have ended there,” said the judge.
On March 1 last year, Bird was ordered to enter his defence on a charge of trafficking in methamphetamine weighing 167.8 grammes at the Old Town White Coffee outlet at No.13, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, here, about 4.15pm on March 1, last year.
Insp Luther, formerly attached to the narcotics department of the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, had acted as “agent provocateur” in arresting Bird during a raid.
Insp Luther, who was represented by lawyer C.B. Liang later paid the fine.