Judiciary couple’s case: Adjournment granted while prosecution waits for QC

|     Fadley Faisal     |

THE case of suspended judiciary officers Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin has been adjourned to February 19.

The Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam confirmed in a statement that the case was adjourned upon a written application by the Public Prosecutor to Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson, who agreed with the application for the adjournment, on the basis that the Public Prosecutor is awaiting the arrival of the Queen’s Counsel (QC) who will be representing the prosecution and appearing for the mention on February 19.

Lawyer Sheikh Noordin of Messrs Sheikh Noordin and Associates, who represents the applicants, has successfully acquired the services of Simon Henry Farrell QC to lead the defence team.

Both the Public Prosecutor and the Law Society had no objections for the admission of the defence QC.

The Chief Justice ruled that he was satisfied that Simon Henry Farrell QC has the special skills and qualifications to represent both defendants in HCCT No 11 of 2018 and in all related proceedings, and granted an order in terms of the application for his admission to practise as an Advocate and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam.

From investigations conducted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the prosecution team – comprising Deputy Public Prosecutors Hajah Suhana binti Haji Sudin, Hajah Suriana binti Haji Radin, Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff and Muhd Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman – will be working around evidence alleging Ramzidah, a Deputy Official Receiver of the Bankruptcy Office; and Haji Nabil Daraina, a Senior Magistrate at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate’s Court, of 157 charges in the upcoming trial scheduled to run on March 4-30, before Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson.

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, Haji Nabil Daraina, 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 are also facing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for possessing assets not corresponding to their income as public servants.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) also established that among the seized assets is a long list of luxury vehicles worth BND3.2 million.