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Zakat Penang CEO charged with 3 counts of graft; faces 2 years' jail

BUTTERWORTH: Zakat Penang’s chief executive officer was charged with three counts of graft at the sessions court here today.
Fifty-year-old Datuk Azman Abdul Samat, clad in a grey blazer, was brought to the court by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers at about 10.45am.
He is alleged to have received three branded watches on three separate occasions from three company owners worth RM 3,450.
It is an offense under Section 165 of the Penal Code for a public servant to accept gifts from parties involved in business transactions with government departments.
If convicted, Azman could be sentenced for up to two years’ jail, or fined, or both for each charge.
He pleaded not guilty to the three charges before judge Sitarun Nisa Abdul Aziz.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ahmad Ghazali Muhammad Nadzri from the MACC prosecuted the case.
N Rajivan and Mohamed Reza Rahim represented Azman.
Ghazali asked for bail of RM 5,000 with one surety for each count, but Rajivan requested for a lower amount, as the purpose of bail is to secure the court attendance of the accused, and his client was present.
Sitarun allowed bail of RM1,500 with one surety for each charge and set Aug 21 for next mention.
In the same court room, Head of Management for Asnaf Quality and Economy Development Division Mohd Wardi Ramli, 35, from the same tithe management centre, pleaded not guilty to three counts of abuse of power.
Wardi had been escorted together with Azman to court.
He was charged with two counts of using his position to obtain an inducement when making an application on behalf of Syarikat Al Global Trading (in which he has an interest) to supply agricultural items worth more than RM10,000 at his office in Bandar Perda on Nov 11 and 14 in 2016.
Wardi was also charged with using his position to obtain an inducement for himself by recommending Syarikat Al Global Trading as the supplier of bedroom items worth more than RM10,000 by submitting a quotation dated Oct 26, 2015 to Mohd Syukri Ibrahim.
It is an offense under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009 for using one’s office or position for any gratification, and the offence is punishable under Section 24 of the same Act.
If convicted, he faces a prison term not exceeding twenty years, and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification.
Wardi said he understood the charges, but pleaded not guilty.
DPP Ghazali asked for RM10,000 bail for each charge, but Wardi’s lawyer, Hadi Mulyana Citrawijaya Suyadi, requested for lower bail.
Sitarun allowed bail for RM5,000 with one surety for each charge and set Aug 14 for next mention.

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