BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Two former judicial officials at the centre of a major graft case have pleaded not guilty to all 157 charges brought against them for criminal breach of trust, money laundering and corruption.
The defandants — Ramzidah Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Col (rtd) Hj Abdul Rahman and her husband Hj Nabil Daraina Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin — appeared in the High Court on Tuesday, accused of embezzling more than $7 million from the court’s Bankruptcy Office.
Chief Justice Dato Paduka Steven Chong set a pre-trial conference for October 16.
Both defendants have been released on court bail — with their passports impounded — until the next court date.
Ramzidah, who was formerly the deputy official receiver of the Bankruptcy Office, was indicted on 146 charges of criminal breach of trust by a public servant, for allegedly misappropriating over $7 million from 41 debtor accounts between 2004 and 2017.
Her husband, Hj Nabil, was formerly a senior magistrate at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrates Court. Both husband and wife are jointly facing nine charges of money laundering, with the prosecution alleging that transfers of $300,000 and $200,000 were made from the Official Receiver’s bank account to their own personal joint account on at least two occasions.
The couple is also facing two charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for possessing assets not corresponding to their income as public servants. Among the assets seized is a long list of luxury vehicles worth $3.2 million.