October 15, 2008 18:40 PM
Ex-UiTM Dean Jail Three Years, Fined RM10,000 For Corruption
SHAH ALAM, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- A former dean of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sports Science and Recreation Faculty was sentenced to three years in jail and fined RM10,000 by the Sessions Court here today.
Datuk Md Saberi Md Salleh was earlier convicted of affirming an invoice for the supply of sports equipment totalling RM138,600 when no equipment had been supplied.
Judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof also imposed the same penalty on the owner of a company supplying sports equipment, Zaleha Abd Rahman, who signed the false document for abetment.
Saberi and Zaleha were found to have committed the offence at the faculty in the UiTM Shah Alam campus between March 24 and April 2, 1999 and punished under Section 16 of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.
However, the court granted them a stay of the jail order pending appeal at the High Court. Md Saberi and Zaleha paid the fine as well as posted bail which the court had raised to RM17,000 and RM15,000 respectively.
In sentencing, Zabariah said the court had considered Md Saberi's contributions to UiTM and the country as well as Zaleha's health status and the fact that it was her first offence.
"Nevertheless, the court is of the opinion that public interest supercedes the interests of the two accused as the offence committed involves public funds and tarnishes the credibility of the public institute of higher learning.
"A deterrent sentence has to be imposed," she said.
Lawyer Mohd Ismail Mohamad who represented Md Saberi, said in the plea of mitigation that his client was of good character, a well known personality in Taekwando and former chairman of the Malaysian Taekwando Association.
Md Saberi was also the founder of UiTM Sports Science and Recreation Faculty, he said.
Zaleha's counsel, Salim Bashir, said his client suffered from chronic diabetes and if jailed, her business had to close down because she was the sole owner.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Josiendra Abu Senin of the Anti-Corruption Agency said the sentence should be in line with the government's wish and mission to wipe out corruption, power abuse and misappropriation especially when it involves public funds.
The trial saw the prosecution calling 14 witnesses including former UiTM vice chancellor Datuk Ahmad Zaidee Laidin while the defence took the both accused to the stand.
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