KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 21): Former federal territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has been found guilty of the RM2 million graft charge against him by the High Court here.
He is sentenced to 12 months' jail and a fine of RM2 million, or in default six months' jail. But the High Court granted him a stay of execution of both sentences. He is expected to file an appeal.
This came two weeks after Tengku Adnan, commonly known as Ku Nan and who turned 70 yesterday, was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by another High Court judge, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, for a graft charge in another RM1 million corruption trial, following an appeal for the order by prosecutors who cited that new developments in the case warranted further investigation.
High Court Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said the punishment prescribed under Section 165 of the Penal Code is for imprisonment for up to two years or a fine or both.
“I am inclined to follow precedents which indicate that a jail sentence is an appropriate punishment. I am also of the view that the accused should not be allowed to profit from the wrong that he had committed, which was the RM2 million that I held that he had taken for himself.
“The accused is sentenced to 12 months of imprisonment and a fine of RM2 million or in default six months' imprisonment. The prison sentence is to run from the date of judgement,” he said .
Before the sentence, in delivering his verdict, Justice Mohamed Zaini said the prosecution had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“I have conducted a maximum evaluation of all the evidence by the accused and the prosecution at the end of the trial, and find that the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt against the accused in respect of the charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code.
“The accused has failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case. I therefore find the accused guilty and convict him of the charge against him,” said Justice Mohamed Zaini.
Tengku Adnan, who is commonly known as Ku Nan and turned 70 yesterday, was accused of receiving kickbacks totalling RM2 million from Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd (AKSB) managing director Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong during his term as the federal territories minister.
The former Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general was found guilty of the charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code.
The section stipulates that a public servant who accepts for himself any valuable thing without consideration shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to two years or a fine or both.
In his verdict, Justice Mohamed Zaini also addressed the issue of a political conspiracy that Ku Nan had claimed against him in his case. According to the judge, Ku Nan lamented that the charge against him was irrelevant and a ploy by Umno and BN's rival political parties to target him.
“The accused’s complaint was not novel. He was not the first politician to be charged for criminal office that had complained of a political conspiracy.
“Our Constitution chose the honourable attorney-general with the absolute power and unfettered discretion to prosecute criminal offences. The judiciary plays no part in that role. It is not our case to question the decisions made to prosecute.
“Our outmost role, which every judge has taken, [is] an oath is to hold and protect the supremacy of the Constitution. Our decisions are made purely based on the law and evidence and not sentiments or conjectures. The judiciary does not partake in political shenanigans for it is above politics. The independence of the judiciary is enshrined in the Constitution.
If any wrong is done, be it by the state or individuals, then it is for the courts to rectify or punish the wrong done. It has been said many times that the courts of law are the last bastion of justice for the citizens. Let it remain that way,” the judge said.
In this case, the prosecution sought to prove that AKSB’s Chai on Jan 27, 2015 handed over a letter of proposal for land acquisition for a project to build houses that cost below RM200,000 each, together with apartments, on land measuring 4.05 acres in Bandar Tun Razak to Tengku Adnan, who approved it.
In return, Ku Nan, who was also then the federal territories chairman of BN, asked Chai to contribute to the political party's campaign for two by-elections — for Kuala Kangsar, Perak and Sungai Besar, Selangor — following the demise of their incumbents, Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad respectively, in a helicopter crash on May 5, 2016.
The prosecution called 23 witnesses to testify, and both the prosecution and the defence submitted over 80 items — including AKSB's application documents to develop Federal Territory Affordable Housing, a RM2 million cheque, bank statements, Umno annual statements and documents on the estimated expenditure for the two by-elections.