ALOR SETAR: An assistant prison superintendent pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to four counts of soliciting and accepting bribes five years ago.

Zaharil Effendy Zaharudin, 38, claimed trial after all charges were read before Judge Murtazadi Amran.

On the first count, he was charged with soliciting RM20,000 from Saadin Ayub as an inducement to change the charge from Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 to a lighter section against Mohd Faizal Saidin at Jalan Pantai Cenang, Langkawi at about midnight, May 12, 2016.

On the second and third count, he was charged with receiving bribes of RM1,300 and RM700 from Saidin as an inducement for the same purpose, through the bank account of his sister-in-law Noor Shahida Ghazali at Maybank Simpang Kuala, Kota Setar on May 22, and 23, 2016, respectively.

Zaharil Effendy was also charged with receiving bribe amounting to RM1,000 via his wife’s Noor Shahneem Ghazali’s bank account from Saidin for the same purposes at the same bank, at about 10.30 am, on July 25, 2016.

All the offences were framed under Section 21 (b) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 2009 and can be punished under Section 24 (1) of the same act, which provides a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and fined not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Tan Sew Ping appeared for the prosecution while counsel Mohd Khairul Hafizuddin Ramli represented the accused.

Murtazadi set bail at RM35,000 with one surety for all charges and ordered the accused to surrender his passport, and report to the nearest MACC office every month.

Feb 28 was set for re-mention. — Bernama