Former Sabah Infrastructure Development minister Datuk Peter Anthony has been sentenced to three years’ jail and RM50,000 fine after he was found guilty of using false documents relating to a system maintenance contract nine years ago.
Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi sentenced Anthony after she ruled that the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused.
She ordered the sentence to run from today.
The accused would have to serve an additional 15 months if he fails to pay the fine.
Azura in her judgement said Peter’s defence was inconsistent, a bare denial and an afterthought.
“There is circumstantial evidence and testimonies from witnesses to show that you were the only one who had the opportunity to falsify the documents,” she said.
She added that Syarikat Asli Jati owned by the accused had gained from the forgery as the letter used received the support from Universiti Malaysia Sabah for the contract.
“This resulted in the Ministry of Finance to award them the contract through direct negotiations for five years,” she said.
Anthony’s counsel S. Devanandan when pleading for minimum sentences said his client was a prominent politician and contributed a lot to the people of Sabah.
“My client had given his full cooperation during the investigation and attended every proceeding without fail,” he said.
Devanandan also applied for a stay of execution on Anthony’s jail sentence pending appeal.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin objected to the application as Anthony did not have any special circumstances.
Azura later granted Anthony a stay of execution pending his appeal to the High Court.
The judge, however, ordered Anthony to pay the fine by today.
Anthony, 51, as the managing director of Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd was accused of using a forged letter from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) deputy vice-chancellor’s office with the intention of deceiving the office of the principal private secretary to the prime minister.
The document was in regards to a purported collaboration with UMS to fund and set up an M&E technical training centre via direct negotiation in July 2014.
He was accused of committing the offence at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya between June 13, 2014, and Aug 21, 2014.
The Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president was also charged with an alternative count of using a false document as genuine, namely a letter from the office of the deputy vice-chancellor of UMS dated June 9, 2014, which had a false statement in the title of the letter, and he had reason to believe that the document is false, at the same place and time.
The charge under Section 471 of the same Act, is punishable under Section 465 of the same law, which carries a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both, if convicted.
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