Former Sime CEO moves to strike out charges

  • Business
  • Saturday, 10 Nov 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in the case of a former Sime Darby Bhd president and group CEO charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust for more than RM100mil would file an application to strike out the charges against him.

Lead counsel Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden told the court that they wished to apply to strike out the charges against Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubair Murshid, 55.

“We will make the application in the High Court soonest possible,” he said when the case was mentioned for case management before Sessions Judge Jagjit Singh Bant Singh.

Earlier, MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Kevin Morais said that they had amended the two charges against Ahmad Zubair.

Previously it read, “... incurring losses of” but yesterday it was amended to, “... to make payment of.”

The charges which were in connection with the acquisition of native customary rights land in Sarikei, Kapit and Julau under the Sarawak Upstream Expansion Plan, were read to him who later pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ahmad Zubair was accused of dishonestly committed criminal breach of trust causing Sime Darby subsidiary Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd to make a paymentof RM85mil to acquire NCR lands at Lower Julau and Sarikei.

Instead, it had been awarded to Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd after his failure as Sime Darby president and group CEO to take or instruct legal action to rectify the award of the lands to Sime Darby.

The offence was alleged to have been committed between Nov 17 and 28, 2008.

Ahmad Zubair also faces a second charge of failing to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 to rectify the awarding of NCR land in Kapit and Julau to trading company Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd, resulting in Sime Darby to make payment of RM16.8mil by having to acquire it.

For these two charges, he was accused under Section 409 of the Penal Code.

The former corporate figure also claimed trial to two alternative charges under Section 418 of the Penal Code when he was first brought to the court on July 17.

Ahmad Zubair was charged with failing to inform the Sime Darby board of directors on Nov 28, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 that the NCR land in Sarikei, Julau and Kapit had been awarded to Vertical Drive and Nature Ambience.

The offences were said to have been committed at an office on the 21st Floor of Wisma Sime Darby, Jalan Raja Laut.

Judge Jagjit later fixed Jan 25 for re-mention.

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