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Malaysian ex top immigration official jailed for graft

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20, 2010 (AFP) – A former top-ranking Malaysian immigration official was sentenced Monday to 56 years in jail for corruption, his lawyer said, in a rare successful high-level prosecution.

Former immigration department deputy director Yusof Abu Bakar, 56, was found guilty last week of accepting 121,500 ringgit (38,500 dollars) in bribes to approve the extension of social visit passes for several Chinese nationals.

“The sessions court today sentenced Yusof to 56 years jail in total and fined him 620,000 ringgit over the 14 charges of corruption,” his lawyer Mohammed Azmi Mohamad Said told AFP.

“However, the judge ruled that the sentences be run concurrently so that means that Yusof will serve about six years in total.”

Mohammed Azmi said Yusof would appeal the ruling and sentence.

Prime Minister Najib Razak came to power last year with a pledge to stamp out corruption which is endemic in Malaysia, and where convictions of high-ranking figures have been rare with cases often ending in acquittals.

Yusof’s sentencing comes shortly after corruption charges were laid against influential ruling coalition politician Khir Toyo over a Balinese-style mansion he built while chief minister of the country’s richest state.

The government’s failure to root out graft was a major factor in 2008 elections which saw the opposition make unprecedented gains.

Commentators have said that the recent flurry in anti-corruption actions is linked to speculation that Najib will call snap elections early next year — an allegation the premier has denied.

Source: SGGP

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