KUALA LUMPUR: Former Petronas senior manager Idris M. Shuhud breathed a sigh of relief when the High Court here acquitted him of charges of money-laundering and accepting bribes today.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah made the decision after allowing Idris' appeal against his conviction – and sentence of four years’ jail and over RM2 million fine – for allegedly taking RM403,000 in bribes and laundering RM384,500 between 2009 and 2012.
In acquitting Idris, the court ruled that the evidence by the 18th prosecution witness (SP18), Kamaruddin Mohd Daud, who is the appellant's best friend, clearly sided with the defence.
"The evidence of payments made was via cheques and most were (transferred) through a lawyer. The court also found that the amount was a loan from a friend," he said.
Azman added in his judgement that if there was any intention of bribery giving and receiving, the transaction could have been made in cash.
"Upon the reasons above, the court therefore allows the appeal and acquits and discharges the appellant of all eight counts, with the fine and jail sentence dismissed altogether," Azman ruled.
On Feb 6, 2015, Idris, 51, was fined RM2,012,500 by the sessions court for allegedly accepting bribes from Penaga Orbit and Genius Response director Kamaruddin, in return for approving Technical Bids Evaluation, Commercial Bids Evaluation and Services Completion Certificates.
He was charged with four counts of accepting RM403,000 in kickbacks via cheques and deposits in installments between March 5, 2009 and Jan 20, 2012.
The father-of-three was slapped with another four counts of laundering RM385,000 via cheques and deposits in the same period.
He was alleged to have used the money to purchase and renovate his house at Bandar Tun Hussein, Cheras.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutors Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry and Mohd Farez Rahman prosecuted, while Idris was represented by counsel Rahmat Hazlan.
Idris was seen wiping tears and hugging his family members after the proceeding.
His family members, who filled the courtroom, whispered 'Alhamdulillah' (praise be to God) after the judge delivered his verdict.