Judiciary couple’s trial to proceed in March

|     Fadley Faisal     |

THE trial against the suspended judiciary couple has been fixed to run from March 4 to 30 this year, after the conclusion of its pre-trial conference yesterday.

Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman, a Deputy Official Receiver of the Bankruptcy Office; and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin, a Senior Magistrate at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate’s Court, who are both represented by lawyer Sheikh Noordin Sheikh Mohammad, have denied all the charges against them.

At the commencement of the pre-trial conference, the prosecution informed the High Court that they were ready to proceed with the trial from February 4.

However, the Defence Counsel applied for the trial to be adjourned until August, to allow them to engage a foreign counsel.

In reply, the prosecution objected to the long adjournment, as it is within the interests of the public for the trial to proceed and conclude in a timely manner.

Having heard the application, the High Court then fixed the trial in March to be heard before Justice Gareth John Lugar-Mawson, the Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court.

Ramzidah has been charged with criminal breach of trust by a public servant for allegedly misappropriating over BND7 million between 2004 and 2017.

Both she and her husband face charges of money laundering, with the prosecution alleging that transfers of BND500,000 were made from the Official Receiver’s bank account to their own personal joint account.

The couple is also facing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for possessing assets not corresponding to their income as public servants.

Among the assets seized is a long list of luxury vehicles worth BND3.2 million.