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The development on the case involving two former judicial officers Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Retired Colonel Haji Abdul Rahman, First Defendant, and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin, Second Defendant, appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday afternoon. On 15th of January 2020, the First Defendant was convicted for criminal breach of trust offences, and both Defendants were convicted for money laundering offences by the Honourable Justice Lugar-Mawson. She was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment while he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. In the same case, the Second Defendant was acquitted of two out of five money laundering charges.

The Prosecution appealed against the sentences imposed as they were manifestly inadequate and against the acquittal of the Second Defendant. On the other hand, both Defendants are appealing against their convictions. The Second Defendant also appealed against his sentence and is seeking for a lower sentence. The appeal has been scheduled to be heard before the Court of Appeal presided by the Honourable Justice Michael Peter Burrel on the 14th to 16th June 2021.

The Defendants who were represented by Sheikh Noordin Sheikh Mohammad, applied for the appeal to be adjourned to a later session and in the event that their application for adjournment is allowed, they also applied for bail to be granted pending appeal. Deputy Public Prosecutors Hajah Suriana Haji Radin, Dayangku Didi-Nuraza Pengiran Abdul Latiff and Muhammad Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman appearing on behalf of the Public Prosecutor objected to such applications. As part of the Prosecution's argument, it was also highlighted that this is a longstanding matter which has been pushed forward from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no exceptional circumstances or special reasons that justifies the adjournment and the granting of bail pending appeal.

The Honourable Court of Appeal Judges agreed with the objections put forward by the Prosecution and refused both applications. The first day of appeal hearing will be on 14th June 2021 at 9:30 in the morning at the Magistrate's Court Building.

Source: Radio Television Brunei