BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Two former judges will stand before the Court of Appeal on June 14, appealing against their conviction for 30 corruption-related charges in one of Brunei’s most high-profile court cases.
Ramzidah Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Col (rtd) Hj Abdul Rahman and Hj Nabil Daraina Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin were jailed last year after they were found guilty of embezzling more than $15.75 million from the High Court’s Bankruptcy Office.
The money was used to buy luxury cars, designer goods and watches valued at over $3 million. More than $6 million is still unaccounted for.
The couple on Wednesday asked the court to postpone their appeal hearing, but the prosecution objected saying the hearing had already been long-delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice Michael Peter Burrel denied the defendants’ application, saying there were no special circumstances to justify an adjournment or request for bail.
The prosecution also lodged their own appeal, asking the court to impose more jail time on the couple saying the current sentence was “manifestly inadequate”.
Ramzidah, who served as deputy official receiver at the Bankruptcy Office, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted on 14 counts of criminal breach of trust and 10 counts of money laundering.
Her husband Hj Nabil, a former senior magistrate, was jailed for five years after he was convicted on six charges of money laundering but acquitted on another two.
Their appeal is scheduled to take place from June 14 to 16.
The defendants are represented by Sheikh Noordin Sheikh Mohammad, while the public prosecutor was represented by Hjh Suriana Hj Radin, Dk Didi-Nuraza Pg Abdul Latiff and Muhammad Qamarul Affyian Abdul Rahman.