Former MPAJ director Abdul Kudus freed of bribery charge
SHAH ALAM: The High Court here acquitted and discharged former Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) enforcement director Kapt (Rtd) Abdul Kudus Ahmad of bribery involving RM59,000, after it set aside the jail sentence and RM370,000 fine imposed by the Ampang Sessions Court, which had found him guilty of the offence.
Judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa, in granting Abdul Kudus' appeal against the conviction and sentence, said the prosecution had relied too much on the testimony by the owner of Sri Steven's Corner that it was Abdul Kudus who had solicited the bribes. In his judgment Thursday, Mohd Yazid said that after studying testimonies by the key witness in the case, the court found that the witness was not a credible one.
"I conclude that it was SP4 (Steven) who initially attempted to bribe the accused, who was the MPAJ director and not vice versa.
"I found SP4 a participis criminis/accomplice, because he was involved actively and directly in all the 24 transactions involving the accused," he added.
Abdul Kudus, 47, was charged with soliciting and accepting the bribes from the owner of Sri Steven's Corner restaurant, Steven @ S. Sathiasilan, between May 2001 and May 2004. On June 30 last year, he was sentenced to 11 years and 10 months jail and fined RM370,000 by Ampang Sessions Court judge Noradidah Ahmad after he was found guilty of committing 24 counts of bribery involving RM59,000. Mohd Yazid also said the Sessions Court judge had failed to make maximum evaluation of the case during the prosecution stage.
"The accused should not have been called to make his defence," he added.
He said he accepted Abdul Kudus' appeal that he did not bribe Steven and had never met the restaurant owner. Mohd Yazid said the prosecution also failed to prove the allegations against Abdul Kudus on the meeting and that he solicited the bribe. He also said that evidence given by an officer from the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Ravi Chandran, should support Steven's testimony.
"SP10 (Ravi) could not say positively whether there was any request for bribes and therefore, the evidence by SP10 was of no value.
"Therefore, I found that the meeting on July 9, 2002 and the request for bribes by the accused did not exist and only made up by SP4," he added.
Hearing of the case began on Aug 9, 2003. A total of 11 prosecution witnesses and 12 defence witnesses were called to testify. They included former Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk M. Kayveas. Met by reporters outside the court, Abdul Kudus said he had been confident of being freed.
"I was penalised for carrying out the job that was entrusted upon me," he said. - Bernama