JOHOR BARU: A lawyer walked away a free man after the High Court here found him not guilty of two charges of criminal breach of trust.
Ibrahim Haikal Razak was sentenced to three years’ jail with two strokes of the rotan by a Sessions Court here in July last year for not handing over the money he received from two clients to the law firm he was representing.
In allowing the lawyer’s appeal yesterday, High Court judge Justice Abu Bakar Katar said the prosecution failed to prove that the 36-year-old accused had committed an act of criminal breach of trust.
“Throughout the trial, they had failed to prove that the accused had kept the money for his own use, which was the basis for the two charges.
“The accused’s job offer letter does not stop him from accepting money from the individuals.
“The document also does not indicate the money received by the accused needed to be handed over to the firm within a certain frame of time, ” he said.
He added the court viewed this as a carelessness on the part of the accused for failing to hand the money over but it is not under the purview of a criminal beach of trust, especially as the money was not kept for personal use.
“The court allows the appeal as the prosecution had failed to prove that the accused had committed a criminal breach of trust.
“The court hereby acquits and discharges him, ” he said.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Faizal Amrin Noor Hadi prosecuted the case while the accused was represented by lawyers G. Subramaniam Nair and M. Manian.
He was previously charged at the Johor Baru Sessions Court with two charges for accepting almost RM18,000 from two defendants in a civil suit.
He was then acting for the plantiff, an educational firm, in the suit.
Ibrahim was accused of accepting the money as an inducement to settle the matter.
He allegedly accepted RM7,600 from a 37-year-old woman and another RM10,325.80 from a 39-year-old woman in two separate locations in Johor Baru in January and February of 2014, respectively.
He was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code with committing criminal breach of trust, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, whipping and a fine, if convicted.
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