Appeals court upholds acquittal of ex-DBKL senior deputy director over bribery charge

21 Jun 2023 05:03pm
Former Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior deputy director Sabudin Mohd Salleh - BERNAMA
Former Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior deputy director Sabudin Mohd Salleh - BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA - A former Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior deputy director who was acquitted of a charge of accepting bribes amounting to RM150,000 remains a free man after the Court of Appeal here today affirmed his acquittal.

A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk P. Ravinthran, Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya and Datuk S.M. Komathy unanimously dismissed the prosecution's final appeal against Sabudin Mohd Salleh's acquittal.

Justice Ravinthran, who led the panel, said there was no documented record of withdrawal of money from company accounts or any banking statement evidence showing that Sabudin had received the money.

"The charge against the respondent refers to a time period in August 2018. However, three prosecution witnesses implied it could be in June 2018 because of the date of Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Haji, and it was not very clear. This was no major reason for the Sessions Court to accept the evidence of the three prosecution witnesses.

"The Sessions Court did not accept the credibility of the three prosecution witnesses, and we find that there is no reason for this court to interfere with the finding after considering the circumstances of the case. Therefore, we dismiss the prosecution's appeal and affirmed the decisions of the High Court and Sessions Court," said Justice Ravinthran.

Sabudin, who appeared in court today in a wheelchair, appeared calm after hearing the verdict while his wife was seen performing 'sujud syukur' (prostration of gratitude) and crying in the public gallery.

On April 8, 2021, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court acquitted and discharged Sabudin without calling him to enter his defence on the charge and the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Feb 28, 2022 affirmed the ruling after rejecting the prosecution's appeal.

Sabudin, 61, who was senior deputy director at DBKL’s Civil Engineering and Urban Transportation Department, was charged with corruptly receiving RM150,000 from Chia Chee Seng, who is a director of Tegap Elit Sdn Bhd, as an inducement for him to verify claims for advance payments submitted by several companies.

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He was charged with committing the offence at a house in Ukay Perdana here between Aug 13 and 19, 2018.

The charge was framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal while lawyer K. Theivaendran represented Sabudin. - BERNAMA