Sabah teacher acquitted of cheating charges

KOTA KINABALU: An English language teacher from a Sabah secondary school cried tears of relief after being acquitted and discharged of charges of cheating three people at the Magistrate’s Court in Labuan.

Fauziah Halim, 45, who teaches at SMK Tansau in Penampang near here, was acquitted and discharged by Magistrate Kasyfurrahman Abang Ahmad without her defence being called on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Fauziah had earlier claimed trial to cheating three people under Section 420 of the Penal Code over the purchase of land parcels at Kampung Bukit Kuda in Labuan.

The court held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against her and as such freed her of all the charges.

After Kasyfurrahman read out the grounds of his decision, Fauziah broke down and cried and later thanked the court for the decision.

She also thanked her counsel Datuk Seri K Rakhbir Singh for the work he put in for her.

On the first charge, Fauziah was alleged to have cheated one Salmah Abdul Rahman at 11.19am on April 11, 2016, by inducing her to release RM5,000 in relation to the purchase of land in Kampung Bukit Kuda.

She was alleged to have induced the same person, on June 7, 2016, to release RM72,500, also in relation to the purchase of the said land.

On the subsequent charge, Fauziah was alleged to have cheated one Nor Aslinda Yaacop to part with RM20,000 on Jan 31, 2018, also in connection with the purchase of another lot of land.

For the final charge, she was alleged to have cheated Zainol Anuar Mohd Noor to part with RM40,000 on Jan 10, 2017, for the purchase of another lot of land.

If convicted, the teacher with over 20 years experience would have faced a maximum of 10 years in prison, whipping and a possible fine.

The trial commenced on Aug 6, 2019, with the prosecution closing its case on Aug 9 this year.

Thereafter, submissions were put forward by the prosecution, led by deputy public prosecutor Suriyati Jumain. The court also received submissions from the defence team.

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