SHAH ALAM, Nov 6 — Sessions Court judge Azmil Muntapha Abas, deputy public prosecutor Khairul Azhwa Yusrie Mohamad and private lawyer Noor Amirul Nazreen Anas today claimed trial to taking bribes in connection with the detention and release of 15 illegal immigrants last July.
All three were accused of accepting bribes amounting RM17,500 from one Wong Chiew Hoong on July 17 in return for their agreement to drop charges against seven workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia when they hauled up for prosecution at the Sessions Court in Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor previously.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and under Section 24(1) of the same law.
Azmil was also charged separately with taking RM5,000 and depositing it into his personal Maybank account at 8.24pm on May 10 last year at the Maybank branch in Jalan Meru, Hulu Klang.
The RM5,000 sum was allegedly payment to Azmil as inducement not to conduct his duties as a judge and fine six individuals who had been charged under subsection 9(1) of the Common Gaming Housing Act 1953.
For this, Azmil was charged under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009, punishable with up to 20 years in jail, or a fine no less than five times the bribe amount.
Azmil first emerged in the public eye 10 years ago when he was a magistrate and acted as coroner in the inquest of former DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock who died falling from a height while under custody of the Selangor MACC at their then headquarters in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam.
There was a 35-minute delay during hearing today in front of Sessions Court judge Rozila Salleh as the prosecution had to refile the charges due to a technical error in the papers earlier.
Upon resumption, there was a lengthy dispute as to the amount of bail to be posted by the accused.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai had asked the court to impose RM100,000 bail for each of the three accused and impound their passports.
After listening to arguments from the defence, judge Rozilla set bail at RM12,000 with one surety for all three accused and ordered them to also surrender their passports.
She also set December 16 as their next court date.
* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.