Lawyer’s conviction on CBT fees overturned

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Lawyer’s conviction on CBT charges overturned

JOHOR BARU: A 36-year-old lawyer walked away a free man after the High Court here found him not guilty of two charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT).

In July last year, the accused Ibrahim Haikal Razak was sentenced to three years’ jail and two strokes of the rotan for not handing over money he had received from two clients to the law firm he was representing.

In delivering his decision Thursday (Oct 8), High Court Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar said that the prosecution had failed to prove that the 36-year-old accused had conducted criminal breach of trust.

“Throughout the trial, the trial court had failed to prove that the accused had kept the money for his own use, which was the basis for the two criminal breach of trust charges.

“The accused job offer letter does not stop him from accepting money from individuals. The document also does not indicate that the money received by the accused needed to be handed over to the firm within a certain frame of time,” he said.

He added that the court viewed this as carelessness on behalf of the accused for failing to hand the money over to the firm but this would not be under the purview of criminal breach of trust.

Deputy public prosecutor Faizal Amrin Noor Hadi prosecuted the case while the accused was represented by lawyers G. Subramaniam Nair and M. Manian.

In April 2016, the accused was charged at the Johor Baru Sessions Court with two counts of accepting almost RM18,000 from two defendants in a civil suit in which he was acting for the plaintiff.