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Tuesday May 20, 2008 MYT 8:03:12 PM

NasionCom founder charged with graft

KUALA LUMPUR: The founder of telecommunications service provider NasionCom Holdings Bhd Datuk Chee Kok Wing was charged in two courts with eight counts of bribery involving RM3.85mil.

Chee, 45, claimed trial at a Sessions Court here on Tuesday to six charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM3.1mil and was slapped with another two bribery charges involving RM750,000 at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court later.

The former NasionCom Holdings group managing director is accused of committing the offences to help the listing of a seafood company on Bursa Malaysia and to stop investigations by the Securities Commission (SC).

He is alleged to have received a RM1mil bribe each via a bank account from Gropoint Ocean Food Sdn Bhd (GOF) director Lee Sin Teck as an inducement for SC division director Kris Azman Abdullah to help in the listing of GOF on Bursa Malaysia and to stop a probe by the SC.

He is said to have committed the offence at the Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd in Mid Valley City here on May 19, 2006 and May 25, 2006.

Chee faces a third charge of obtaining a bribe of RM600,000 from GOF director Datuk Lim Kim Ming through businessman Koh Yuet Yee for the same purpose at the NasionCom office here on May 29, 2006.

He allegedly received a RM50,000 bribe from GOF corporate services division director Wong Tze Yen through Koh for the same matter at the same place on May 30, 2006.

Chee is said to have received RM50,000 and RM400,000 from Lim through Koh at the same office on May 30, 2006 and the next day for a similar purpose.

If convicted, he can be jailed up to 20 years and fined five times the amount of the bribe for each charge under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.

DPP Abdul Razak Musa, who is the director of legal and prosecution for the Anti-Corruption Agency, asked the court to set Chee's bail at RM1mil on grounds that the offences were serious and non-bailable.

Lead counsel Tan Hock Chuan, however, pleaded for RM100,000, saying that bail should not be punitive and that as his client wanted to clear his name, he would not abscond from the country.

He asked the court not to impound Chee’s passport saying that his client often travelled to China and Dubai on business.

He said Chee only has a house worth RM6mil and another asset worth RM300,000 in Malaysia.

Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah granted bail at RM500,000 in one surety and ordered him to report to an investigating officer once in two months.

Komathy set June 27 for mention on an application by DPP Abdul Razak that the prosecution had yet to decide if it wanted a joint trial with his other bribery case.

At 2.50pm, he claimed trial at the PJ Sessions Court to accepting bribes on two occasions from Lim for the same mattter at his house in Seri Kembangan between June 17, 2006 and the next day.

Judge Nurmala Salim granted bail at RM50,000 in one surety and set June 26 for mention. His wife posted bail.

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