Appeals Court upholds jail sentence, fine on former UMNO division chief

PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal today upheld the eight-year prison sentence and RM977,560 fine imposed on former Pandan UMNO division chief Abd Ghani Ismail, who was found guilty of 10 counts of corruption involving RM193,512 between May 2006 and March 2007.

A three-judge panel led by Datuk Hanipah Farikullah unanimously dismissed the final appeal by Abd Ghani, 56, to set aside the conviction and sentence against him.

“After examining the appeal record and all the evidence and reasons for the judgment by the Sessions Court, we found that the decision can be defended and there is no error by the Sessions Court that requires the intervention of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

“We are also satisfied that there is no miscarriage of justice at the Sessions Court level. Therefore, the sentence by the Sessions Court is upheld and the appeal (on nine charges) is dismissed,” said Hanipah who sat with Judges Datuk S. Nantha Balan and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

On another charge of soliciting a bribe for the appointment of a company as a contractor, Judge Hanipah said the court found there was no error by the High Court judge that required the intervention of the Court of Appeal.

“The High Court judge has applied the correct legal principles to the facts of the appeal for the case. Accordingly, the conviction and sentence by the High Court is safe, the appeal is dismissed, the decision of the High Court is upheld,” said the judge.

According to the nine charges, Abd Ghani as Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) tender committee member at the time, was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes from a contractor Abdul Rahman Yaacob (deceased) amounting to RM193,512.

On the tenth count, Abd Ghani was charged with accepting a bribe for himself in the form of the appointment of Syarikat Lembah Rimbun, in which he has an interest in, as a sub-contractor to Syarikat Dwisakti Mewah Sdn Bhd.

It is learned that Abd Ghani, who has paid the fine (RM977,560) will serve his prison sentence from today.

On Dec 28, 2012, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court sentenced Abd Ghani to eight years in prison and a fine of RM977,560 before the Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld the same sentence against him.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Norzilati Izhani Zainal and Samihah Rhazali while lawyer Zamri Ibrahim represented Abd Ghani. – Bernama