Former magistrate Amin Shahul Hamid (centre) arriving at the sessions court in Kuantan today. (Bernama pic)

KUANTAN, March 18 (Bernama) — The Sessions Court today sentenced a former magistrate to a total of 58 years in prison and a fine of RM1.05 million, in default 72 months’ jail, after finding him guilty of six counts of soliciting and accepting bribes from a trader, about two years ago.

However, Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid, 41, formerly a magistrate at the Lipis dan Raub court, only has to serve 12 years in prison after Judge Datuk Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain ordered the prison sentences to be served concurrently.

Ahmad Zamzani allowed a stay of execution on the sentence pending his appeal to the High Court and imposed an additional bail of RM25,000 with one surety bringing the total bail to RM50,000.

Mohamad Amin was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

In his judgement, the judge said Mohamad Amin’s defence was merely an afterthought and a bare denial that failed to raise reasonable doubt in its case.

Mohamad Amin was charged with soliciting bribes amounting to RM100,000 and receiving RM110,000 from one Hassan Basri Ahmad Sutan Modo in Lipis and Raub between July 5 and Oct 22, 2019.

The bribes were as an inducement for the accused not to fine and jail Hassan Basri who was then facing a charge for possession of smuggled cigarettes.

The charges were framed under Section 16 (a) (B) and Section 17 (a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which are punishable under Section 24 of the same act and provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.

In mitigation, lawyer S. Meheraj asked for a minimum sentence, saying that Mohamad Amin was a first-time offender and suffering from asthma.

“The accused has also been suspended from 2019 and now receives half his salary. To make a living, he helps his uncle at a paddy field in Sungai Petani, Kedah,” he said.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, however, urged for a deterrent sentence because the case went through a full trial, apart from the accused had made preparations to commit a crime.

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