A former chairman of a Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) pleaded guilty over one out of three fund cheating charges at the Ipoh Sessions/Magistrate Court today (April 28).
The accused, Zulkifle Othman, 59, pleaded guilty in front of Judge S. Indra Nehru.
According to charge sheets, he cheated Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, a former state executive councillor, of RM350,000 by having her deceived into believing that the amount of funds were to be used for building a new surau at Kampung Kubu in Tanjung Malim.
He committed the offence on March 15, 2017, under Section 417 of the Penal Code as an optional charge, in which punishment entails imprisonment of up to five years, a fine, or both.
The accused was also charged with fraudulently withdrawing RM106,000 from the abovementioned sum for his own usage in 2018, therefore committing an offence under Section 409 of the same Code.
Punishment under this offence entails imprisonment of up to 20 years, whipping and a liability to a fine.
The accused initially claimed trial on January 14 last year for all of the charges but he changed his plea following a plea bargain today.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Maziyah Mansor requested for the accused’s savings of RM203,686.45, a Honda Civic car worth RM33,500 and a laptop to be forfeited as they are all considered government properties.
The court ordered for a RM150,000 fine, failure of which will result in a 15-month imprisonment. The accused paid the fine. Request for forfeiture was allowed.
The accused was acquitted of remaining charges under Section 171A of the Criminal Procedure Code. He was represented by lawyer Hisham Nazir.