Senior cop charged with bribery

SIBU: A senior policeman today was charged in the Special Corruption Court here with corruption charges and alternative charges of accepting bribes.

However, the accused Sofian Abu Bakar, 44, denied both charges after they were read out by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Nula Abd Latiff from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Special Corruption Court Judge Nixon Kennedy allowed the accused to be released on a RM15,000 bail with one surety.

He has been ordered to undergo a five-day trial starting April 12.

The defendant’s lawyer Shankar Ram, in Kuching, communicated through a video conference in the proceedings.

Sofian faces a major charge of receiving RM15,000 in cash for himself as an inducement not to take legal action against one Lu King Kiat, who was suspected to be involved in illegal lottery sales activity, which is an offence under the Open Gaming House Act 1953.

The accused at the time was an officer with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who served at the Meradong police headquarters (IPD). He was charged with committing the offence in front of a food court at Jalan Wong King Huo around 8.30pm on Oct 11 two years ago.

The offence, listed under Section 17 (a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act read together with Section 28 (1) of the same Act, provides for imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or maximum value, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Sofian also faces alternative charges of receiving RM15,000 in cash from Lu and therefore has also committed an offence under the Open Gaming House Act 1953 at the same time and place.

The offence is read under Section 165 of the Penal Code which is punishable by a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or both if convicted.