Sentencing of former cop vacated, to be confirmed

|     Fadley Faisal     |

THE sentencing of former head of the Major Crime Investigation Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Superintendent Haji Khairur Rijal bin Haji Abu Salim has been vacated and is to be confirmed despite being fixed for February 14 two days ago.

First defendant Haji Khairur Rijal, at the time of his arrest, held the rank of superintendent with the RBPF.

The second defendant Liew Say Koo is a Malaysian businessman in the construction industry who was expelled from Brunei Darussalam and is prohibited from re-entering the country due to his criminal record.

The first defendant was charged under Section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, in his capacity as an ‘agent’ serving as an officer with the RBPF, for corruptly accepting from the second defendant a gratification as an inducement or reward for assisting in the second defendant’s affairs sometime in 2012.

The first defendant was also charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, in his capacity as a public servant with the RBPF, sometime in 2012 for obtaining for himself a valuable thing without consideration from the second defendant whom he knew in connection with his official functions.

The second defendant was charged under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act for corruptly giving the first defendant, who was an officer of the RBPF, a gratification as inducement or reward for assisting in his affairs sometime in 2012.

The second defendant was also charged in abetting the commission of an offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code by the first defendant.

The State Judiciary Department yesterday released information on the findings of the trial magistrate leading to convictions of the two men.

Magistrate Muhammed Faisal bin Pehin Dato Haji Kefli accepted the evidence of the prosecution and found that, in relation to the charge under Section 6(a) and 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the first and second defendants, respectively, the first defendant is an ‘agent’ serving as an officer with the RBPF.

The Magistrate also found that the first defendant accepted a gratification, a vehicle with registration number BAH 6986, from the second defendant. The first defendant accepted the vehicle as an inducement to assist the second defendant, who is a prohibited immigrant and was previously expelled from Brunei Darussalam, to repeatedly enter and exit the country between 2011 and 2013.

The first defendant assisted the second defendant by making applications on behalf of the Commissioner of Police or the Director of the CID to the Controller of Immigration and National Registration Department by stating that the second defendant was allegedly needed to assist in police investigations.

In summary, the court found that the prosecution had shown that the first defendant had accepted and the second defendant had given the gratification and therefore the presumption under Section 25 of the Prevention of Corruption Act applies.

The court subsequently found that the defence has failed to rebut the presumption for the charges against them.

The second defendant Liew Say Koo was sentenced by the Magistrate to 18 months’ imprisonment in respect of the charge under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He was also sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for the charge of abetting the commission of an offence under Section 165 of the Penal Code.

The court ordered for the second defendant’s sentence to be served concurrently as they transpired from a single transaction.

The court’s sentencing in respect of the first defendant Haji Khairur Rijal has been set at a later date.