Delay in drug case under fire

Fadley Faisal

A local man was ordered by the Magistrate’s Court yesterday to settle a fine of BND2,300, after he pleaded guilty to the charges of drug abuse.

Junaidi bin Busrah, 41, would have to serve four months’ jail in default of payment. However, he pleaded with Senior Magistrate Azrimah binti Haji Abdul Rahman to be released on bail instead of being incarcerated to care for his elderly mother.

The court took into consideration the defendant’s clean record, his mitigations and instant guilty plea on handing the sentence.

Junaidi was found to have consumed methylamphetamine and had drug utensils in his possession on September 5 and 6, 2014, when he was arrested by officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), at a house in Kampong Delima Satu.

When the court demanded an explanation, the NCB prosecutor said that the defendant could not be traced or reached after his release by the NCB.

It was also brought to the court’s attention that the interchanging of investigating officers had contributed to the delay. The court found that the prosecutor had pursued the nearly out-of date case, rather than proceeding with a 2017 allegation against the defendant.

The court reminded the prosecutor’s agency to uphold its integrity, for justice to be served appropriately.