KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — The trial of an assistant secretary from a ministry, charged with 11 counts of submitting over RM6,000 in false claims will start on October 7 in the Sessions Court.

Judge Rozina Ayob set the date after deputy public prosecutor Mohd Shahrom Idris informed the court that the representation submitted by Ku Aznal Shahri Ku Abd Hamid, 49, had been dismissed by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

“Approximately 24 prosecution witnesses are expected to testify,” said Mohd Shahrom. Following this the court scheduled eight days for the trial, from October 7 to 10 and November 18 to 21.

The accused’s lawyer, Tabian Tahir did not object to the dates and confirmed that his client maintains a plea of not guilty.

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“For the court’s information, my client is still employed as a civil servant and has not been suspended from duty,” he said.

On March 5, Ku Aznal Shahri, who was serving as the chief assistant secretary of the Information Technology Management Division at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya at the time, was charged with making false claims.

The claims involved the rental of five hotels for RM5,344, travel allowances of RM645.50, and toll payments of RM63.40, all amounting to RM6,052.90.

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The offences were allegedly committed at the ministry’s office in Putrajaya, between May 2 and August 7, 2018.

The charges under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 are punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. — Bernama