KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today fined a property developer RM1.5 million after he pleaded guilty to abetting in giving a RM1 million bribe to former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor over land deals involving Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said Tan Eng Boon must pay the fine by tomorrow.
“I took into account public interest and the interest of the accused in imposing the sentence,” the judge said.
Tan, 70, pleaded guilty to an amended charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code which carries a two-year jail term or a fine or both upon conviction.
Earlier today, deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim and Tan’s lawyer, Faisal Moideen, conducted a plea bargain before Nazlan.
Julia later told reporters that Tan had been prepared to plead guilty to the amended charge provided he would only be fined.
Nazlan, in imposing the sentence, said he took into account that Tan pleaded guilty at the earliest opportune time.
“This has saved a lot judicial time in a corruption trial,” he said, adding that Tan was also a first offender.
Nazlan said he also considered that Tan abetted with another person in committing the crime in which both were jointly charged.
“However, corruption is a serious crime as it undermines the social and economic development of a country. It also destroys the social fabric of the society,” he said.
After taking the plea bargaining into consideration, the judge said a fine of RM1.5 million or a year’s jail was an appropriate sentence.
Tan, who is the director of a property and development company, had pleaded not guilty on Nov 15 last year to giving a bribe of RM1 million to Tengku Adnan with a Public Bank cheque belonging to Pekan Nenas Industries Sdn Bhd.
The cheque was deposited into a CIMB Bank account owned by Tengku Adnan.
Tan was charged with making the payment to Tengku Adnan for the approval of an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the industrial plot ratio of a piece of land on Jalan Semarak.
Tengku Adnan, who is the Putrajaya MP, is also charged with receiving the RM1 million from Tan.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Putra World Trade Centre CIMB bank branch here on Dec 27, 2013.
Tan was initially charged under Section 24(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and those found guilty can be jailed up to 20 years and fined five times the gratification amount.
Julia said Tengku Adnan’s trial has been scheduled to begin on Thursday and Tan would be a prosecution witness.