KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today reduced the prison sentence meted out to the former senior finance manager of the National Farmers’ Association (NAFAS), from 55 months to 30 months.
Muhammad Saiful Iskandar Kassim, 46, was found guilty of three counts of accepting bribes, to speed up the payment process for eight fertiliser contracts last year.
Judge K. Muniandy, who made the ruling, also reduced the RM45,000 fine imposed by the Sessions Court in June last year, to RM30,000, after allowing Muhammad Saiful Iskandar’s appeal.
However, Muniandy rejected the appeal of the appellant to set aside his conviction
“The court is of the opinion that there is no reason to interfere with the findings of fact made by the Sessions Court judge, who found the accused guilty of the three charges he was facing, and the court has made a maximum assessment of the evidence presented throughout the trial.
“The Sessions Court also considered the defence of the accused. However, the court found that the defence failed to refute the presumption under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009,” he said.
Muniandy also allowed the request of lawyer Khairul Anuar Kashim, who represented Muhammad Saiful Iskandar, for a stay of execution pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal. Previously, the appellant had paid a fine of RM45,000.
On June 22, 2022, the Sessions Court sentenced Muhammad Saiful Iskandar to 55 months in prison and a fine of RM45,000, after finding that the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt at the end of the defence case.
For all the charges, he was charged with corruptly receiving RM2,000 in each transaction, from one Mohd Nazim Ariff Nazir Ariff, which was transferred into his Maybank account, as an inducement to expedite the payment process for the contract to supply manpower and equipment to deliver fertiliser, from the NAFAS warehouse at NPK Fertiliser Sdn Bhd Kedah and Agro-Tech NPK (M) Sdn Bhd to the NAFAS warehouse in Sabah and Sarawak.
All the offences were allegedly committed at Dataran Maybank branch, Level 1, Tower A, Dataran Maybank, No.1 Jalan Maarof, here between Dec 10, 2015, and Feb 26, 2016.
The charge, framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, provides imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. – BERNAMA