Sunday, August 15, 2010

'Billionaire' Elie sentenced to 77 months' jail for cheating, abusing visa (Updated)


 KUALA LUMPUR: Lebanese "billionaire" Elie Youssef Najem created  a ruckus in court Friday after he was sentenced to a total of six years  and five months in jail for two counts of cheating and one count of  abusing his social visit pass five years ago.

The 50-year-old  self-professed "billionaire", who was visibly upset, started shouting  profanities in court as soon as it was adjourned after magistrate Mohd  Azali Ibrahim passed sentence on him.
"Six years? Six years! What did I do to deserve six years? I didn't kill anyone.
"I am going to kill you Malaysians! I swear I will. Six years! I am  going to f*** the judge! I am going to bomb all the embassies!" he  shouted from the dock, while his lawyer S. Selvam tried to calm him  down.
The court had earlier found him guilty as charged, ruling  that he had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case,  which began in 2005.
The prosecution, represented by deputy  public prosecutor Nor Aizam Aiza Zamran, called in a total of eight  witnesses, while Elie himself was the sole defence witness.
He  had been charged with cheating businessman Tan Sim Chai, 64, an office  stationery distributor, by causing him to believe that he (Elie) would  be able to pay his debt once he obtained monies amounting to GBP2.6mil  (RM13mil), and, therefore, inducing Tan to hand over RM35,000 worth of  cheques to him.
He was said to have done so at Megan Avenue II,  here, on Sept 12 and 13, 2005, which amounted to an offence under  Section 415 of the Penal Code.
He was also charged with abusing  his social visit pass by working as a director of a company, which was  an offence under the Immigration Regulations 1963.
He was sentenced to six years jail for cheating, and five months for abusing his social visit pass.
Selvam then applied for a stay of execution, saying his client wanted to appeal the decision.
The court granted him a stay on condition he paid up RM40,000 in bail  (he was previously on a RM20,000 bail during trial), with two Malaysian  sureties, and submitted his passport to the court until the appeal was  disposed of.
Elie, who was dressed in a red T-shirt and jeans  Friday, had his curly hair tied back and was moving about with the aid  of crutches.
He continued to hurl profanities as the police  tried to get him to go into the police lock-up, shouting that the court  wanted to get him killed in jail.
A check with his lawyer later in the afternoon found that Elie had failed to post bail.


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