SHAH ALAM: Former Kuala Kubu Baru Sessions Court judge Azmil Muntapha Abas pleaded not guilty to a corruption charge, today.
Azmil was charged with receiving a RM17,500 bribe as an inducement to sentence seven illegal foreigners to a mere fine under Section 6(1)(C ) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.
The seven foreigners are from Indonesia (five) and one each from Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Azmil, 45, along with deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Khairul Azhwa Yusrie Mohamad, 32, and lawyer Noor Amirul Nazreen Anas, 31, were charged with receiving gratification from Wong Chiew Hoong, 40, at the Kuala Kubu Baru Sessions Court between 9.30am and 2.45pm on July 17, 2019.
The three legal practitioners are accused of committing an offence under Section 16(A)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 (Act 694) for bribery, which is punishable under subsection 24(1) of the same Act.
The trio faces a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of RM10,000 or five times the value of the gratification, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
Azmil, Khairul and Amirul, who remained calm in court, nodded their heads to indicate that they understood the charge against them, which was read before judge Rozilah Salleh at the Special Court for Corruption.
The trio pleaded not guilty and were allowed bail of RM12,000 each. They were also told to surrender their passports to the court pending a mention of their case on Dec 16.
Meanwhile, Azmil was also slapped with a second graft charge of receiving a RM5,000 gratification via his Maybank account from Soo Seng Kok, 36, through Zumairi Othman, 37, and Ahmad Feisal Azmi, 37, at Maybank Jalan Meru, Klang at 8.24pm on May 10, 2018.
The payment was in connection with a separate case involving six illegal foreigners who were charged under subsection 9(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 (Act 289), but were sentenced only to a fine.
Azmil had thus committed an offence under subsection 17(a) of the MACC Act, which is punishable under subsection 24(1) of the same Act.
Azmil also faces an alternative charge for the same offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code (Act 574), which provides for a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
He pleaded not guilty to the two charges as well as the alternative charge.
He was allowed bail of RM6,000 and was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court pending a mention of the case on Dec 16, 2019.
The MACC was represented by its Legal and Prosecution Division director, Roslan Mat Nor and DPP Allan Suman Pillai.
Azmil was represented by lawyers Gregory Santiago, Sheelan. A, Ridha Abdah Subri, and Jagesh M. Lingam; while Khairul was represented by Zulkepli Omar and Nur Fathin Muhammad Zain.
Amirul was represented by Shahidah Muslimah Roslan and Noorhidayah Mohd Saad.