Counsel: Wasli condemned twice


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 21 Mar 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Prosecutor deliberately formulated two new bribery charges against Datuk Wasli Mohd Said because the latter’s five charges in Sabah could not be transferred here for trial, the High Court heard. 

It was only after the transfer failure that new charges were brought against the former Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) general manager, counsel Gobind Singh Deo told the court hearing his application to strike out the two charges against Wasli or have the proceedings against his client stayed. 

On Feb 9, Wasli was charged here with offering RM500,000 in bribes to SLDB directors John Liaw Chee Shing and Michael Emban as inducements for them to support the approval of the purchase of SLDB shares in Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd by his trading company Syarikat Briskmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd during its board meeting. 

These were in addition to the five counts of corruption involving RM1mil and 3.36 million company shares that 58-year-old Wasli had claimed trial to in Kota Kinabalu on Feb 12, 2004. 

Four of the charges in Kota Kinabalu involved him allegedly giving Liaw and Emban RM500,000 in bribes each as inducements for them to support the sale of SLDB shares in Sapi Plantations to Briskmark Enterprise. 

“This prosecution was brought for the sole purpose of getting around a problem that the Public Prosecutor faced.  

“But to condemn the applicant twice just because the respondent did not get his way with the law is altogether improper,” Gobind Singh argued. 

The same court also heard an application from the prosecution for a joint trial of Wasli’s case and that involving former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam. 

Kasitah, 59, had also on Feb 12, 2004, claimed trial to abusing his position as SLDB chairman for financial gain by taking part in a decision to approve the sale of 16.8 million Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd shares held by SLDB to Briskmark Enterprise in which he was allegedly promised 3.36 million shares.  

He also allegedly deceived the SLDB board by not disclosing the offer by PPB Oil Palms Sdn Bhd to allocate five shares of the company for each Sapi Plantations share in the proposal by PPB Oil Palms for listing on the KLSE. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria submitted yesterday that Wasli’s alleged act in offering bribes and Kasitah’s alleged abuse of power and cheating was of the same transaction, both allegedly committed at the Fairlane Hotel here on Oct 22, 1996. 

High Court Justice Abdull Hamid Embong will hear today the prosecution’s reply to Wasli’s application to strike out his new bribery charges as well as the replies from Gobind Singh and Kasitah’s counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on joint trial.  

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