July 25: Decision on prosecution’s appeal against former DBKL deputy director’s acquittal

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today set July 25 July to decide on an appeal by the prosecution against the acquittal of former Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior deputy director Sabudin Mohd Salleh on (two) charges of obtaining bribes amounting to RM200,000 for the issuance of work permits.

Judge K. Muniandy set the date after hearing submissions by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and lawyer K. Theivaendran,  representing Sabudin.

In his submission, Wan Shaharuddin argued that the trial judge was confused by the charges against the respondent (Sabudin) and had blamed the appellant (prosecution) for failing to establish the need for the respondent to solicit bribes from the prosecution’s main witness, Wong May Kuan, who is a subcontractor of Dusari Niaga.

“The trial judge had committed a gross error and misdirection when he failed to consider the evidence that did not favor the respondent when deciding that the respondent had given an honest testimony,” he said and requested the court to allow its appeal, as well as to set aside Sabudin’s acquittal.

Meanwhile, Theivaendran submitted that the trial judge had made the right finding when acquitting his client based on the testimony of witnesses.

“Therefore, we request that the prosecution’s appeal be dismissed,” said the lawyer.

The appeal by the prosecution was filed last year against a Sessions Court’s decision on Sept 15, 2022, which acquitted Sabudin, 61, of two corruption charges at the end of the defence case.

Sabudin was ordered to enter his defence on both charges after the High Court, on March 24, 2022, allowed the prosecution’s appeal to set aside the Dec 18, 2020, decision by the Sessions Court in acquitting him of the two charges at the end of the prosecution’s case.

On both the charges, Sabudin,  who was then senior deputy director at the DBKL Civil Engineering and Urban Transport division was charged with corruptly receiving a bribe of RM200,000 in cash from Wong May Kuan, a subcontractor of Dusari Niaga that was tasked with grinding and resurfacing works for Kuala Lumpur City Hall for the Year 2018/2020 (2017/A214) as an inducement for him to issue work permit to the company.

He was charged with committing the offences at a petrol station convenience store at Jalan Lingkaran Tengah 2, Bukit Antarabangsa here, and in front of his residence in Ukay Perdana, Ampang, on June 9, 2018, and Jan 17, 2019, respectively.

The charges were framed under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of bribe involved, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. – Bernama / pic TMR File