Court rejects businessman's application for DNAA in RM15mil graft case

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here rejected the application of a company director to be granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on four charges of soliciting and accepting bribes of RM15mil to secure projects from an agency under the Home Affairs Ministry.

Judge Rozina Ayob made the ruling on Wednesday (Sept 27) after finding that the charges could be improved and it did not prejudice Datuk Seri Sim Choo Thiam, 53, as the applicant.

"After examining all the cause papers, the applicant's (Sim) request to set aside the four charges was rejected," she said.

The court also rejected the applicant's request for the public prosecutor, as the respondent, to furnish a fresh written statement of facts favourable to his defence.

The case was handled by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Asma Ahmad while lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik represented Sim.

Sim, who filed the application on July 4, requested that he be granted a DNAA because the public prosecutor had breached their statutory duty under Sections 153 and 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the investigation into the case was incomplete.

The businessman also requested that the respondent furnish a fresh written statement of facts in favour of the defence, under Section 51A (1)(c) of the CPC within seven days from the date of the court order.

Sim claimed that it was only after he was charged in court that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) proceeded to record a statement from former home minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, whose name was mentioned in his (Sim) charges.

The trial of the case has been set for 10 days from May 6 to 10 and 13 to 17, 2024, and the prosecution will call 20 witnesses to testify.

Sim is accused of soliciting a bribe amounting to RM15mil from Asia Coding Center Sdn Bhd managing director Hep Kim Hong through Syed Abu Zafran Syed Ahmad.

Sim was also charged with three counts of accepting RM15mil in bribes from the same individual.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Shaas Holdings office and a parking lot at Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1 here between June 2021 and July 30, 2021.

The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted. - Bernama

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