High court upholds jail, fine on ex-english daily assistant manager

High court upholds jail, fine on ex-english daily assistant manager

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today upheld the 30 months jail and RM100,000 fine imposed on a former assistant manager in the editorial department of English daily, The Star for receiving RM20,000 bribe, in 2017.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh passed the judgment after dismissing an appeal by M. Youganesparan, 57, against the conviction and sentence handed down by the Sessions Court on Dec 18, 2018.

The judge ruled that the evidence adduced by the prosecution of the fact that the accused received the RM20,000 was overwhelming as the monies were in the form of marked notes in RM100 denominations.

“They were all properly listed and documented.The eighth prosecution witness (PW8) Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said that he gave the marked notes to the accused.

“This was witnessed by PW1, PW2, PW3 and PW4 who were observing the event as it unfolded before them. They were seated on separate tables immediately flanking the table where PW8 and the accused were seated.

“Secondly, the accused said that he accepted the money from PW8 to set up a company. In all probability, it would be much more prudent and sensible for the payment of RM20,000 to be transacted online or by using a cheque or a banker’s cheque compared to cash.

“After all, it is not meant for any immediate cash purchase or cash transaction. This is obviously for personal safety reasons and the accused, being in the employment of one of the mainstream media, ought to be more sensitive of this fact.

“Why then should it be given in cash,“ the judge asked.

Justice Ahmad Shahrir said therefore he did not find any valid reasons to intervene in the sentence.

“I’m hereby dismiss the appeal against conviction, sentence and affirm the decision of the learned Sessions Court Judge,“ he added.

He however, allowed Youganesparan’s application for a stay of execution of the jail sentence pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal. The court increased the bail from RM40,000 to RM50,000.

Counsel M. Manoharan and Anis Salihah Abdul Malik acted for the appellant while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s deputy public prosecutors Natrah Fareha Rahmat and Nurshafini Mustapha appeared for the prosecution.

On Dec 17, 2018, Sessions Court Judge Madihah Harullah imposed a 30 months’ jail and RM100,000 fine, in default 10 months’ jail against Youganesparan after he was found guilty of receiving RM20,000 bribe from Mohd Emir, 57, as an inducement for an officer of the MACC to close a case involving Mohd Emir.

The offence was committed at Dome Cafe, Vista Power, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, here at 9.15 pm on May 30, 2017.

The charge, under Section 16(a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 and is punishable under Section 24 of the same law, provides a jail term for up to 20 years’ jail or a fine of RM10,000 or five times the bribe amount, whichever is higher, upon conviction. — Bernama