Syariah judge gets 19 years’ jail

Perak Syariah Court judge Hassan Basri Markum was sentenced to a total of 19 years’ jail and fined RM210,000 after he was found guilty of seven corruption charges by the Sessions Court here.
He is the first Syariah judge to be sentenced for corruption.
However, as Sessions judge Tan Hooi Leng ruled yesterday that some of the sentences are to run concurrently, Hassan Basri, 56, will only need to serve 10 years in jail.
In passing judgment, Tan said the defence had failed to cast reasonable doubt on the charges against Hassan Basri.
”The court cannot accept the money was meant to pay off a loan,” she said.
Tan, however, allowed the defence’s application for a stay of execution pending an appeal and set RM5,000 (total RM35,000) bail for each charge.
As Tan was reading out her judgment, Hassan Basri’s wife Maznah Idris was seen sobbing in the public gallery.
Hassan Basri, who was charged under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997, was accused of:
> Soliciting a bribe of RM3,000 from Mohamad Imran Abdullah to release bail money to Yoong Hor Kit over several criminal cases at Restoran Wawa in Tambun at 8.15pm on Aug 15, 2007;
> Receiving the bribe in a car at D.R. Seenivasagam Park at 3.25pm on Sept 6 (over the case involving Yoong);
> Soliciting a bribe of RM1,100 to help Mohamad Asri A. Bakar marry Nor Farihan Hassan without going through proper procedures at the same restaurant in Tambun at 8.30pm on Aug 15;
> Agreeing to receive the bribe in a car at the Hillcity Hotel at 6pm on Aug 17 (in the case involving Asri and his girlfriend);
> Agreeing to receive another bribe of RM1,100 from Mohamad Imran to produce a marriage certificate allowing another couple, Mohd Jefri Afandi Ahmad and Nur Liza Musa to marry without going through proper procedures in a car at D.R. Seenivasagam Park at 3.20pm on Sept 6;
> Soliciting RM20,000 from Yoong Hor Kit, through Mohd Sharif Abdul Ghani, to release bail money and reduce sentences in several criminal cases at the Perak Shooting Asso­ciation building at Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah here at 8.30pm on Aug 7, 2006; and
> Receiving RM10,000 from Yoong to release bail money and reduce the sentences on several cases at the same place on Aug 9, 2006, at 11pm.
In mitigation, defence counsel T. Shan appealed for a lower sentence as the accused had been jobless since he was charged.
”He is now working in a restaurant,” he said.
In pressing for a heavier sentence, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission (MACC) head of prosecution unit Datuk Abdul Razak Musa said the court must send a clear signal that corruption would not be condoned.


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