PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Businessman and former Pahang Umno Youth chief Datuk Mohd Mustafa Mohd Khalid has been sentenced to three years’ jail after he was found guilty of cheating a managing director of a company of RM1mil over a scanning system project.
This was after Appeals Court Judge Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, heading a panel of three judges, maintained the conviction and three-year jail term imposed by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Feb 19, 2016.
However, the panel set aside an eight-year jail term and RM300,000 fine or one-year jail term imposed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on March 23, 2017.
“Our decision is unanimous, we allow a part appeal. We are of the opinion that the appeal on the conviction has no merit. The appeal on the conviction is rejected and the conviction is maintained.
“The appeal against the sentence is permitted. The sentence by the High Court Judge is set aside and the Sessions Judge’s sentence is brought back,” said Judge Mohtarudin who convened with judges Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah on Thursday.
The panel made the decision after hearing the arguments of counsel Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh representing Mohd Mustafa and Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah.
Mohd Mustafa, 56, appealed against the High Court's decision to raise the three-year jail sentence imposed by the Sessions Court to eight years after dismissing Mohd Mustafa's appeal.
He has to undergo the prison sentence today (Jan 3) as this was his last appeal.
After the decision, he waved his hand and said something to two family members in court.
On Feb 19, 2016, the Sessions Court sentenced Mohd Mustafa to three years’ jail after he was found guilty of deceiving NM Resource Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Kamaludin Janis.
He duped the victim into believing that the letter of intent from the Finance Ministry dated July 6, 2009 with the title “The Proposal To Supply A Scanning System For One Hundred Percent of Imported Goods For the Royal Malaysian Customs Via Rentals” given by the accused to the victim was genuine.
He fraudulently prompted the victim to hand over RM1mil to him for obtaining the letter for the victim.
He was charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code that provides for a jail term of up to 10 years and whipping and a possible fine.
Earlier, Hariharan argued that the High Court Judge was mistaken in raising the sentence based on the evidence of three prosecution witnesses including Kamaludin.
He said the court should examine the evidence of the three as they also had links in the case.
Hamdan argued that the sentence imposed by the High Court corresponded with Mohd Mustafa's offence as he had cheated Kamaludin, who was the seventh prosecution witness, into believing that the letter of intent was from the Finance Ministry, resulting in the victim handing over RM1mil to Mohd Mustafa.
He also said during the trial, the court was told that Kamaludin had appointed a consultant, namely, Amrul Nizar Anuar, the 21st prosecution witness, to find any political party that could award the contract for the RM12mil scanner system.
He said the 21st witness told the court that the accused was the former Pahang Umno Youth chief who had a position in Umno and had close contacts with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. – Bernama