Malaysia

Court upholds Saidin’s acquittal of accepting RM1m bribe

April 06, 2012

PUTRAJAYA, April 6 — Former Selangor executive councillor Datuk Saidin Thamby was freed today from a charge of accepting a bribe in the form of a RM1 million cheque, Bernama Online reported today.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Datuk Abdul Malik Ishak freed Saidin after dismissing the prosecution’s final appeal against his acquittal for graft.

Abdul Malik together with Justices Datuk Azhar Ma’ah and Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki also affirmed the High Court’s ruling allowing Saidin’s appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence meted out to him by the Sessions Court.

The news portal quoted Abdul Malik as saying in his 88-page of judgment that the panel had given careful consideration to submissions made by both sides in view of the evidence on record, which was deemed insufficient to prove the prosecution’s case beyond reasonable doubt.

He also said the allegations about donations made to Umno during the trial were untrue and that Saidin was not party to a corrupt act.

The prosecution had appealed against the decision of the Shah Alam High Court in April 2009 to allow Saidin’s appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence.

The Sessions Court sentenced the former Paya Jaras assemblyman to one year’s jail, RM10,000 fine or six months’ jail, and a penalty of RM1 million, to be paid to the Federal Government after finding him guilty of accepting a RM1 million cheque as gratification.

Saidin was charged with receiving the bribe at a house in Taman Selaseh, Batu Caves at about 12.30am on March 15, 1997.

The charge under Section 3 (a)(i) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961 carries a jail term of up to five years or a maximum fine of RM10,000, or both.

After the verdict was pronounced, Bernama reported Saidin as saying to reporters that he was happy with the judgment and felt relieved as it had cleared his name after 14 years.