Sabah forest warden says he will be tried for bribery charges over illegal logging

KOTA KINABALU – A Sabah Forestry Department worker has been charged with two counts of receiving and paying bribes to a timber firm to minimize illegal logging in the report that was published five years ago.

Abidin Jaja pleaded not guilt to the charges in front of Judge Jason Juga, at the Special Corruption Court on Thursday (June 13,) here.

The 50-year old was charged with a first offense for allegedly requesting RM30,000 from the director of a timber company at Hotel Venetian, in the district of Keningau in the interior on September 14, 2019.

In exchange, the accused was required to reduce the impact of the violations relating to timber activities carried out outside the permitted logging area.

Abidin is accused of receiving RM15,000 in bribes from a timber boss’ representative on the same date and place.

The accused was induced to reduce the impact of the report on illegal logging.

The charges were filed under Section 16 (a)(B), which is punishable by Section 24 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

On conviction, the accused could face up to 20-years in prison and a fine not less than 5 times the amount of the bribe.

The court granted the accused RM10,000 in bail with RM2,000 deposit and one surety.

The accused also had to report every two months to the MACC office located in the Sandakan East Coast district.

Nur Sabrina Ali, prosecuting officer for the MACC, appeared before the court with counsel Noor Rahayu Ibrahim representing the accused.

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