Thursday, January 5, 2017
Ex-Water Dept boss still undecided on high bail appeal
He said Ag Mohd Tahir Ag Mohd Talib, his client, had not decided whether to appeal against the RM10 million bail imposed on him and the RM2 million imposed on his wife.
Both are in jail after failing to post bail in what has come to be known as the Sabah watergate case.
“I have met my client at the prison where he’s being held,” said Pereira in a statement reported by the Daily Express. “He can only decide on whether to appeal on the bail amount after discussing with family members.”
The lawyer said unless he received firm instructions from Tahir, the former Sabah Water Department director, he would be unable to act on this matter.
It was not immediately clear whether Tahir had access to family members.
Lawyer Baljit Sidhu recently told FMT that “any excessive sum imposed would defeat the purpose of bail”. The main aim of offering bail to an accused was to secure attendance in court, he had explained.
Baljit, who lectures in criminal law, said an accused was presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“Imposing a high bail amount was tantamount to punishing the accused before the verdict was handed down,” he said. “The freedom of the accused was affected when he or she has to remain in prison pending trial.”
The couple, he had said, had two options: to file a fresh bail application at the High Court, or hope a judge would call for the case through a revision.
The charges against the couple have been framed under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
Tahir faces eight charges for being in possession of RM56.9 million in cash, cash in four bank accounts, having six luxury cars, and 86 branded watches.
One charge he faces relates to RM14,000 he allegedly gave to one Cristine Fiona M Ponsoi.
Fauziah Piut, Tahir’s wife, faces 19 charges for being in possession of RM2.2 million in 18 bank accounts.
The charges state, among others, that she used proceeds from illegal activities to own 93 branded handbags.
Also charged in a Special Corruption Court last Thursday was Lim Lam Beng, 64, the former director of the Sabah Water Department.
He faces four charges over possession of suspect properties and cash totalling RM2.3 million.
Posted by wikisabah at 4:31:00 PM