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Judicial CP - September 1996

Borneo Bulletin, 6 September 1996

Couple back behind bars

By Heidi Sia

A Bruneian couple jailed in Miri has continued their misdeeds in Brunei which has put them back behind bars.

Sawal bin Sabli, 39 and his wife Normaslina bte Dali, 21, were initially charged jointly with breaking into an office of a senior officer in the Historical Centre in BSB to commit theft.

Magistrate Sheikh Noordin was told that the couple was jailed in Miri for 18 months for carting away a safe from the school office in Miri before they were brought back to the BSB Magistrate's Court to answer the charge for theft, said to have been committed on Feb 14 last year.

Insp Hjh Norputemah, prosecuting, told the court that the items stolen from the Historical Centre office included a movie camera, some old currency notes from 8 countries, a radio cassette and a draftman's instrument.

The charge against Normaslina was reduced to possession of items believed to be stolen, due to lack of evidence. She pleaded guilty and received one month's jail.

Prosecution tendered two more charges against Sawal for committing mischief by breaking a door of the office and selling the stolen camera. He was sentenced to 18 months for theft, six months and one stroke for mischief and one year for selling the stolen item, the sentences to run concurrently.

Insp Hjh Norputemah told the court that the couple was arrested the following day of the theft as Sawal's fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime.

Fingerprint expert Insp Mohd Limon testified that a comparison of the fingerprints showed they were identical.

Borneo Bulletin, 26 September 1996

Cannabis trafficking couple jailed

By Heidi Sia

A couple convicted of trafficking in 208 g of cannabis were sent to jail and one of them ordered to undergo whipping by the Brunei High Court.

Ahmad bin Jais will serve nine years and receive nine strokes of the rotan while his fiancee, Joyce bte Adus will serve six years' imprisonment. Both are in their 20s.

High Court Judge Edward De B Bewley, in passing the sentences, said Ahmad should have received 12 years' jail and 10 strokes as he has six previous convictions including one for consuming cannabis and deserved no leniency.

However, although he pleaded not guilty to the charges, he had neither cross-examined the prosecution witnesses nor given evidence himself. Consequently, prosecution evidence went unchallenged and allowed the case to be concluded within a day.

The couple had been jointly charged with possessing 204 g of cannabis for trafficking.

Ahmad also faced four other charges including possessing another 1.4 g of cannabis, consuming a Class-A controlled drug Cannabinol Metabolite, and possessing a utensil, a pipe, for the purpose of consuming drugs.

The drugs were found in Ahmad's house at Kg Perpindahan Mumong Kecil, Jln Dipa Negara, in Kuala Belait, Deputy Public Prosecutor Naimah bte Ali, assisted by Hj Rozaiman Dato Hj Abd Rahman, told the court.

Narcotics Control Bureau officer Jalani bin Hj Daud testified in court that, after briefing his team, he arrested Ahmad at Jln Dipa Negara and with seven other NCB officers escorted him to his house.

Another NCB officer guarding the house told the court that as Joyce had looked out of the window he had indicated that she should answer the door, but instead she disappeared and he heard the rustling of plastic bags.

After the officers managed to enter the house via the unlocked rear door, she was found with two plastic bags of a material later analysed as cannabis.

Ahmad admitted all exhibits found in the raid were in his ownership -- these were also found to be controlled drugs.

Judge Bewley said while Ahmad had made an admission, Joyce had done no such thing. But one could not resist from inferring that she knew what was in those bags.

Not only had she failed to respond to the knocks on the door, she had also lied to the officers, saying the bags she was throwing away were "rubbish".

The court was satisfied that the drugs were kept in the bedroom with her consent and could therefore be deemed to be in her possession.

Judge Bewley added that as the quantity of cannabis the couple were holding was over 204 g,and with no evidence to the contrary, it is presumed under Section 15 that the drugs were for the purpose of trafficking.

Ahmad was found guilty on all four charges. He received nine years, nine strokes for trafficking, one year for possessing cannabis, three years for consuming Metabol Cannabinol Metabolite and one year for possessing a utensil for drug consumption. All sentences would run concurrently.

Judge Bewley in passing sentence for Joyce allowed that she, living with Ahmad, was probably under his influence to a large extent. She was thus convicted only on the charge of trafficking cannabis.

Borneo Bulletin, 26 September 1996

Persistent car robber jailed, caned

A car robber with a stealthy habit of breaking into cars and helping himself to their contents was punished with three years' jail and eight strokes of the rotan by the Seria Magistrate Court.

Bruneian Suhimi bin Ramlee, 28, was sentenced by Magistrate Sheikh Noordin on six counts of theft and five of mischief.

Suhimi worked mostly in the wee hours of the morning, between midnight and 3 am. Over a period of three days earlier this month, he broke into six cars, mostly by cutting through the weather strip in the rear left door of the vehicle.

His loot included a gold ring, three radio cassette players, a hifi equaliser, two speakers, two pairs of safety boots, three pairs of sunglasses, a cigarette lighter, $20 cash and two songkok.

Other stolen items include a grassmower, a torchlight, a book on cars and 10 packets of instant noodles.

At a shop storeroom near a parking lot in Seria, he also made off with four tyres with sports rims valued at $1,100.

Suhimi, who has 12 previous convictions for theft, was finally arrested at 5 am on Sept 5 in the vicinity of Sugar Bun in Kuala Belait by two policemen on Crime Prevention duty.

They found his behaviour suspicious and took him in for questioning, whereupon he confessed to the crimes.

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� Colin Farrell