Magistrate jailed 58 years for graft

Wrong side of the law: Magistrate Mohamad Amin at the Sessions Court in Kuantan. — Bernama

KUANTAN: A magistrate who used to pass judgment on wrongdoing found himself on the other end of the law when he was found guilty of six counts of corruption.

Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid, 41, was sentenced to a total of 58 years’ jail and a RM1.05mil fine in default 72 months’ in prison after Sessions Court judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain ruled that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt in its case.

In delivering the verdict, the judge said Mohamad Amin’s defence was an afterthought and a bare denial.

As Ahmad Zamzani ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently, Mohamad Amin would only serve 12 years in jail.

Mohamad Amin, who used to serve in the Lipis and Raub Magistrate’s courts, was charged with soliciting bribes amounting to RM100,000 and receiving RM110,000 from one Hassan Basri Ahmad Sutan Modo between July 5 and Oct 22, 2019.

The bribes were an inducement for Mohamad Amin not to fine and jail Hassan Basri who was then facing a charge of possession of smuggled cigarettes.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin asked for a heavy sentence, saying that Mohamad Amin never showed any remorse for his actions.

“This is akin to the proverb ‘harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi’. His actions were an embarrassment to the judicial system and civil service,” he said during the court proceedings yesterday.

Wan Shaharuddin said Mohamad Amin also had no shame as he personally solicited and collected the bribe money himself.

In mitigation, lawyer S. Meheraj asked for a lighter sentence, saying that Mohamad Amin was a first-time offender and had previously served with excellence as a magistrate.

Ahmad Zamzani allowed a stay of execution on the sentence pending an appeal from the defence.

The judge also set an additional bail of RM25,000 for Mohamad Amin with one surety, bringing the total bail to RM50,000.

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