Senior police officer gets 30-month jail term for graft

|     Fadley Faisal     |

A SENIOR police officer was given a prison sentence yesterday by the Magistrate’s Court, which recently convicted him on charges of graft.

Superintendent of the Royal Brunei Police Force Haji Khairur Rijal bin Haji Abu Salim was sentenced to serve 30 months’ imprisonment by the Magistrate’s Court following his convictions for a charge under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 131, and for a charge under section 165 of the Penal Code, Chapter 22.

Haji Khairur Rijal, 42, was found guilty after trial for corruptly accepting a pick-up vehicle as gratification from the Managing Director of Say Koo (Liew) Sdn Bhd and L&E Contractor Liew Say Koo in exchange for assisting the latter’s re-entry into Brunei Darussalam after being expelled and prohibited from re-entering the country in November 2007.

These offences formed part of the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s investigations that led to his indictment, conviction and prison sentence.

In mitigations, Haji Khairur Rijal pleaded for the magistrate to take into account his 15 years of service with the RBPF, along with his receipt of the Excellent Service Medal (PIKB) and six appreciation certificates from the Commissioner of Police.

The accused exits the court house accompanied by uniformed personnel

Magistrate Muhammed Faisal bin Pehin Dato Haji Kefli however considered Haji Khairur Rijal’s seniority as an aggravating factor, as he had used his position to enable Liew to repeatedly enter and exit Brunei Darussalam.

Haji Khairur Rijal held the senior posts of Officer-in-Charge at the Tutong Police District, and Head of the Major Crime and Taskforce II under the Criminal Investigation Department of the RBPF at the time of the offences.

The court sentenced him to 30 months’ imprisonment for the offence under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 131, and 12 months’ imprisonment for the offence under section 165 of the Penal Code, Chapter 22.

The court ordered for these two sentences to run concurrently.

In addition to the prison sentence, the court also ordered Haji Khairur Rijal to pay a penalty of BND12,000, pursuant to Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 131, for the value of the gratification in using the vehicle intermittently from June 2014 until the date of detention.

He was ordered to pay the penalty within three months, or serve an additional imprisonment term of three months in default.

The court rejected Haji Khairur Rijal’s application for a stay of execution of his prison term, pending an appeal against his conviction and sentence. He was ordered to serve his sentence with effect yesterday.

Prosecuting Officer Shamshuddin bin Haji Kamaluddin and Deputy Public Prosecutor Pengiran Hajah Nor’Azmeena binti Pengiran Haji Mohiddin represented the Public Prosecutor in the case, while Haji Khairur Rijal was unrepresented.

Lawyer Roy Prabhakaran was also present earlier, to address the court on behalf of his client, Liew Say Koo, on the matter of the forfeiture applied by the prosecution on the Toyota Hilux.

Magistrate Muhammed Faisal ordered that any forfeiture would be made after the appeal had concluded.