Cop gets another chance to appeal 10-year jail term

PUTRAJAYA: A senior police officer was given another chance to appeal a 10-year jail term and RM42mil fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal for money laundering offences involving RM3.35mil.

A three-member panel led by Justice Kamaludin Md Said allowed the accused Mohd Ismail Syed Merah, who was a deputy superintendent of police, in his review application.

Justice Kamaludin, who presided with Justice Abu Bakar Jais and Justice Ahmad Nasfy Yasin, then set Dec 20 for case management before a deputy registrar for Mohd Ismail’s appeal.

On March 22 this year, a different Court of Appeal panel, led by Justice Has Zanah Mehat, dismissed Mohd Ismail’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.

That panel also increased Mohd Ismail’s jail sentence from four years to 10 years and ordered him to pay a total fine of RM42mil, in default 48 months’ jail, after allowing the prosecution’s appeal.

Following the decision of the previous Court of Appeal panel, Mohd Ismail, 59, filed a review application under Rule 105 Court of Appeal Rules 1994, seeking the court to rehear his appeal.

Earlier, Mohd Ismail’s lawyer Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid said the High Court and the Court of Appeal had used the balance of probabilities burden, which is a lower burden of proof, when convicting Mohd Ismail on the charges.

He said the previous appellate court panel had decided that the prosecution only required to prove the elements of money laundering charges against Mohd Ismail on the balance of probabilities instead of beyond reasonable doubt, which is a higher burden of proof that is usually applied to criminal cases.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, who was assisted by DPP Mohd Fairuz Johari, countered by saying that Mohd Ismail had failed to meet the requirement for review, adding that all the issues had been ventilated by the previous Court of Appeal panel.

The accused was charged with five charges of using monies obtained from unlawful activities, involving RM10,143.37; RM40,000; RM6,283.09; RM993,716.91 and RM500,000, respectively, to buy and increase investments in Takafullife Insurance Protection Plan and Takafulink Plan registered under his daughter’s name Nur Aqillah Mohd Ismail.

He also faces two other charges of committing money laundering, involving RM499,620 and RM29,950, using a third party account belonging to one Tan Kim Tee.

Mohd Ismail was said to have committed the offences at the MAA Takaful building, Jalan Tun Razak, Johor Baru, and in two bank premises, namely RHB and CIMB at Jalan Rahmat near Batu Pahat, Johor, between Sept 4, 2014 and Dec 28, 2015.

On the eighth charge, Mohd Ismail was said to have in his possession RM1.27mil and 8,178,000 Rupiah in his house, which were proceeds from unlawful activities.

In 2019, Mohd Ismail was acquitted and discharged by the Johor Baru Sessions Court of all the money laundering charges.

However, in 2020 the High Court convicted him on all the charges and sentenced him to four years in jail for each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently. — Bernama

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