[2020] 4 MLRA 730
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Nallini Pathmanathan, Vernon Ong, Abdul Rahman Sebli FCJJ
[Criminal Appeal No: 05(L)-18-02-2020(W)]
Nallini Pathmanathan, Vernon Ong, Abdul Rahman Sebli FCJJ


Nallini Pathmanathan FCJ:

[1] This is an appeal by the prosecution against the decision of the Court of Appeal reversing the High Court trial judge's decision dismissing the respondent, Tengku Adnan's application to recuse him from adjudicating in the criminal trial.

Factual Background

[2] The factual background is that the respondent was charged under s 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 ('Act') for accepting a bribe of RM1 million from Tan Eng Boon ('Tan'). An alternative charge under s 165 of the Penal Code was also preferred against him. Tan was charged under s 16(b)(A) of the Act for giving the bribe, as well as an alternative charge under s 109 of the Penal Code.

[3] The prosecution applied for a joint trial of the cases against the respondent and Tan. This was granted.

[4] Prior to trial, Tan applied to plea bargain pursuant to s 172C of the Criminal Procedure Code ('CPC'). Tan pleaded guilty to the alternative charge and was convicted. The prosecution indicated that they would utilise Tan's testimony in their case against the respondent.

[5] Therefore in accordance with well-settled principles and case-law (see Yap See Teck v. Public Prosecutor [1982] 1 MLRH 455; [1983] 1 MLJ 410; [1983] CLJ Rep 953) where a co-accused who pleads guilty is required by the prosecution as his witness, the case and the sentencing process is disposed of immediately. This is to avoid the danger that if sentencing is postponed then the co-accused may weight his evidence towards the prosecution in the hope of getting a lighter sentence. Accordingly, the case against Tan was recorded and he was convicted and sentenced to a fie of RM1.5 million, and in default imprisonment of one year.

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