TAIPING, (March 3) — An army retiree was charged at the Sessions Court here Tuesday with carrying out illegal clearing of permanent forest reserve for agricultural purposes last year.
A. Raman Hashim, 50, from Jalan Bukit Merah, Bagan Serai, however, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial after the charge was read to him before Judge Mohd Sabri Ismail.
The court allowed him bail of RM15,000 in one surety and fixed April 15 for remention.
A. Raman was alleged to have committed the offence with several other individuals at large in part of the 18th compartment of the Pondok Tanjong Forest Reserve in Mukim Gunong Semanggol near Kerian between 8 am and 6 pm between June 8 and Sept 21 last year.
The charge under Subsection 32(1) of the National Forestry Act 1984 and adopted under the State Forestry Enactment 1985, carries a maximum jail term of five years or fine of RM50,000 or both, if convicted.
Deputy public prosecutor Fadhli Ab Wahab prosecuted, while A. Raman was represented by lawyer Mustafa Ghazali.– BERNAMA