2 immigration officers discharged, acquitted over abetment, gratification charges

Shankar (second from left) and Ling (second from right) talking to their client Rita Rubiana (third from left).

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By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, April 16: Two officers of the Sibu Immigration Department were today discharged and acquitted by the Sessions Court of abetment and gratification charges

Judge Nixon Kennedy Kumbong said the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against first accused Raffian Mohd Alias and second accused Rita Rubiana De Rozario.

Hence, the judge did not call for their defence after hearing evidence adduced by the prosecution’s witnesses and cross-examination by the defence lawyers.

Raffian, the department’s enforcement unit chief, was charged with abetting Rita Rubiana for a gratification of RM6,000 cash from a Mr Wong as an inducement for not taking legal action against Mr Wong, who was suspected of employing foreign workers without valid permits at a quarters in Sibu on June 26, 2016, at about 8.30pm.

Rita Rubiana, an officer of the department, was charged as an agent of the Government of Malaysia for corruptly obtaining for herself gratification of RM6,000 from Mr Wong as an inducement not to take legal action against Mr Wong at a restaurant in Sibu town on June 25, 2016, at about 10.30pm.

Raffian and Rita Rubiana were charged under Section 17(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under section 24 of the same Act.

DPP Law Chin How prosecuted, while Raffian was represented by counsel Augustine Liom. Rita Rubiana, on the other hand, was represented by counsels Shankar RP Asnani and Daniel Ling.

Shankar and Ling, in their submission, highlighted that there were questionable flaws on the tape recording of the conversation. In addition, the WhatsApp evidence between the accused and complainant was unsafe to rely on and the prosecution’s witness evidence was contradictory and unsafe to rely upon. — DayakDaily