SHAH ALAM, Feb 27 — It was a relief for former Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Hanan Alang Endut when the High Court here today upheld his acquittal on 10 counts of corruption, involving RM59,390.60.
This followed a decision by Judge Datuk Abdul Halim Aman in dismissing an appeal by the prosecution against a Sessions Court’s decision in acquitting and discharged Abdul Hanan, 65, of all the charges, without calling for his defence.
He ruled that the appeal by the prosecution had no merit.
In the judgment, Abdul Halim said he was satisfied with the findings of the Sessions Court and hence, should be upheld.
He said today’s decision was based on several factors, including that the prosecution had failed to prove all the elements under the charges.
“The evidence by the key prosecution witness, namely the 14th witness (Adam Omar) and the respondent (Abdul Hanan) in his caution statement was consistent on the status of the cheques.
“Adam clearly told that the cheques were loan with a promise to pay back after the respondent received his gratuity.
“This was affirmed by the investigating officer who recorded Adam’s statement, as well as the respondent, which showed all the cheques were for loan to a friend with no interest.
“The loan was a bona fide loan, not for other purpose, especially bribe,” he added.
Abdul Hanan, 65, was charged with accepting bribes, in the form of blank United Overseas Bank cheques belonging to Adam Omar as gratification for approving a TechnoFund for his company, Global Goodway (M) Sdn Bhd.
The offence was allegedly committed at No 25, Jalan 17/21 Section 17 Petaling Jaya, between Dec 1 and 15, 2008.
He was then alleged to have cashed the cheques for certain amounts between December 15, 2008 and February 27, 2009, for, among others, payments for house repair (RM15,024), tithe (RM25,000), credit cards (RM9,275), assessment and quit rent (RM15.00) and as deposit in his wife’s account (RM8,000).
The charge, under Section 11 (a) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 and punishable under Section 16 of the same law, provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine not less than five times the amount of bribe involved, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Abdul Hanan was represented by lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, while deputy public prosecutor from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Hazirah Azeman appeared on behalf of deputy public prosecutor Afifah Yusof. — Bernama