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"Tuhan Harun" jailed 15 years for illegal deposit taking

"Tuhan Harun" jailed 15 years for illegal deposit taking
An April 24, 2013 file photo of Harun at the Syariah High Court in Kuantan when he was charged with practising deviant teachings. - BERNAMApic/Files
KUALA LUMPUR: Head of the 'Tuhan Harun' deviant group, Harun Mat Saat, was sentenced to a total of 15 years' jail by the Sessions Court here today for illegally collecting deposits, amounting to RM35 million, 10 years ago.

Judge Norsharidah Awang handed down the sentence after finding him guilty on four counts of committing the offence.

When handing down the decision, she said the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubts against the charges.

However, Harun, 50, who is now paralysed and could not talk following a stroke, will only serve six years in jail as the court ordered the jail sentences to be served concurrently from today.
The court sentenced him to two years' jail on the first counts, three years' jail for the second count, four years' jail for third count and six years' jail for the fourth count.

On April 17, 2014, Harun was charged with assisting Business Time Dina Sdn Bhd, Pan Phoenix Dina Sdn Bhd and Pan-Phoenix Dina Steel Sdn Bhd of accepting deposit of RM35 million from several companies and members of the public without a valid licence.
The offence was committed at Wisma MPL and Wisma Goldhill, Jalan Raja Chulan, here, between Sept 13, 2006, and April 8, 2008.

The charges, made under Section 25(1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 and punishable under 103(1)(a) of the same law, provided an imprisonment for up to 10 years, or fine, or both, if found guilty.

In mitigation, Harun's lawyer, Hermesmediaputra Ibrahim, said his client, besides having poor health, had many children and was now unemployed.

"Although he is allowed bail, but he is not able to lead a life like others on bail as he is in remand for other charges," he added.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Shukri Ahmad Mansor, who prosecuted, requested for a punishment that could serve as a lesson for the accused as his action had caused many people to suffer.

Harun and five of his followers are also charged with murdering the principal assistant director of the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (Jaip), Ahmad Raffli Abd Malek, on Nov 10, 2013.

The case is before the High Court in Kuantan.

Harun is also facing a charge in the Syariah High Court and 10 charges in the Kuantan Syariah Lower Court, including for spreading deviant teachings and insulting Islam by claiming to be god.