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Ex-council chief wins appeal against alleged corruption

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 17/2/2017 V Anbalagan

Bakaruddin-Othman © Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd Bakaruddin-Othman PUTRAJAYA: Former Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president Bakaruddin Othman today won his final appeal over the alleged use of the local authority’s funds for the maintenance of his personal residence.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench chaired by Mohtarudin Baki allowed the appeal as the conviction was not safe.

“The defence has created a doubt in the prosecution’s case. The appeal is allowed, and sentence and conviction of the Sessions Court set aside,” Mohtarudin said of the unanimous ruling.

The bench also ordered that the fine of RM132,500 imposed be returned to Bakaruddin, 61.

Earlier during submission, Bakaruddin’s lawyer Akbardin Abdul Kader said his client committed no wrong as he was entitled to renovate his house which doubled up as the official residence of the head of a town council.

He said this was allowed as the council did not provide a quarters for the president.

“There is a circular from the Selangor government that this could be done provided a full board council meeting gave the approval,” said Akbardin who appeared together with Jagjit Singh.

On Dec 20, 2012, the Sessions Court sentenced Bakaruddin to three years’ jail and a fine of RM132,500, in default of a year’s jail.

The trial judge also increased bail from RM8,000 to RM10,000 and ordered Bakaruddin to report himself at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office on the first Sunday of every month.

Last year, the High Court dismissed the appeal.

Bakaruddin was charged with using his position as the council president to obtain gratification in the form of financing, amounting to RM26,500, for the maintenance of his personal residence.

The financing for the residence located in Batu Caves, Selangor, was approved by Bakaruddin during a meeting of the council’s tender committee.

The alleged offence was committed between June 2001 and April 2002 at the Selayang Municipal Council Building, Bandar Baru Selayang.

Government lawyer Wong Poi Yoke urged the bench to maintain the conviction and sentence as the findings of the trial court was affirmed by the High Court.

Akbardin also ordered that Bakaruddin’s backdated salary over the last five years and pension entitled to him be reinstated.

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