KUALA LUMPUR: Former Rural Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Muhamad, who is charged with abetment in a criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating involving RM11mil, has been ordered to make his defence.
Sessions Court judge Mohd Zaki Abd Wahab held that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case on both charges against Dr Abdul Aziz, 61.
The judge came to his decision after hearing the testimonies of 34 witnesses.
Mohd Zaki set June 1 to 3 and June 6 to 7 for Dr Abdul Aziz to enter his defence.
Dr Abdul Aziz is charged with abetting Terengganu Tengah Development Authority (Ketengah) general manager Datuk Alwi Said, 57, in committing CBT involving RM2mil from the authority.
Dr Abdul Aziz is accused of committing the offence with businessman Ooi Kee Siang, who is still at large in 1999.
If found guilty, he can be jailed up to 20 years, whipped and fined.
He is also charged with cheating the then Second Finance Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed by inducing him to believe, through an investment approval application, that Ketengahs RM9mil investment in orchid cultivation, fish rearing and recreation projects in Tasik Puteri Bukit Besi, Dungun, were feasible.
Dr Abdul Aziz, who is now a businessman, is alleged to have held back material facts from the minister, including comments from government agencies that the projects were not viable, thereby dishonestly inducing the minister to approve the projects.
If convicted, he can be jailed up to 10 years, whipped and fined for this offence.
Defence counsel Mohd Firuz Jaffril said he would be calling five prosecution witnesses to testify, adding: The main person to be called to testify will be former rural development minister Datuk Annuar Musa.
Dr Abdul Aziz had on July 15, 2002, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was freed after posting bail of RM100,000.
Did you find this article insightful?