Police inspector jailed, fined for receiving RM3,500 bribe seven years ago

KOTA KINABALU: A police inspector was sentenced to 12 months in jail after the Tawau Corruption Special Sessions Court found him guilty of receiving RM3,500 in bribes seven years ago.

In handing down the penalty on Roney Saimeh Sakah on Thursday (June 20), Session Court Judge Jason Juga also fined the 44-year-old RM18,000 and another three months in jail if he fails to pay the fine.

The decision was made at the end of the defence case after the court found that they failed to rebut the statutory presumption under Section 50(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 on the balance of probabilities concerning a charge under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

According to the facts of the case, Roney was accused of receiving a bribe of RM3,500 at the Traffic Branch Office of the Lahad Datu District Police Headquarters in 2017 as an inducement to settle an accident case investigated under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act 1987.

He was charged under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

Roney was first brought to court on February 20, 2020, and the trial began on March 8 last year.

The court heard the testimony of 20 prosecution witnesses and three defence witnesses, including the accused.

In his arguments, MACC Prosecutor Dzulkarnain Rousan Hasbi stated that corruption is a serious offence, especially when it involves police officers, as it tarnishes the reputation of other public servants and the accused himself.

Lawyer Zahir Shah requested a lighter sentence, considering that his client is currently facing financial difficulties and has to support a wife and a child.

He also requested a stay of execution of the sentence while his party filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence in the High Court.

The court subsequently granted the request for a stay of the accused's prison sentence but ordered a fine of RM18,000 to be paid to the court on Thursday (June 20). In addition, the appeal must be filed within 14 days from the date of conviction.

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