KOTA KINABALU: Former state minister Datuk Conrad Mojuntin @ Jomilon was charged with voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation in a magistrate's court here yesterday.
Conrad, 58, of the now defunct Parti Berjaya, pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The proceedings took 15 minutes but the accused could only post bail two hours later as the courthouse had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat.
Conrad was charged with voluntarily causing hurt to Chee He Fatt, 45, behind a bank in Dongonggon, near here, at about 4am on Oct 23.
He was also charged with criminal intimidation against Doughty Disimon, 30, outside a cafe in Dongonggon at 3.30pm on the same day.
These incidents were related to a brawl between two groups that resulted in a shooting incident outside a library at Dongonggon later that day in which 20-year-old Anthony Chang Kim Fook died.
The bank, food and beverage outlet and library are located near each other.
Conrad's nephew David Mojuntin, 42, was also charged with voluntarily causing hurt. He pleaded not guilty.
Conrad looked calm and composed throughout the proceedings. The courthouse at Jalan Pantai here was packed and a large group of onlookers had also gathered outside.
Magistrate Amran Jantan fixed bail at RM2,000 in one surety each for Conrad and David for the charge of voluntarily causing hurt. An additional bail of RM1,500 in one surety was fixed for Conrad for his second charge.
Senior Federal Counsel Noorbahri Baharuddin objected to bail for Conrad and told the magistrate that a charge of criminal intimidation was a non-bailable offence, although the court had the discretion to grant bail.
When applying for bail earlier, Zahir Shah, representing both accused, said Conrad was a respected retired politician who had cooperated with the police and had not intimidated any witness.
Amran fixed Aug 10 for mention.
Lawyer Serena Liew Choon Yen is holding a watching brief for Chang's family.
A police bomb disposal-and-dog unit combed the three-block building after the courthouse was evacuated around 10am. The building was declared safe at about noon.
Conrad, together with his three sons and seven others, have been on police bail for the past nine months following their arrest immediately after the brawl and the shooting incident.
Before yesterday's proceedings, Noorbahri told reporters that the Public Prosecutor had directed that an inquest be carried out on Chang's death under Section 339 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Under the section, the Public Prosecutor may at any time direct a magistrate to hold an inquest on the cause and circumstance of any death.
A date has yet to be fixed for the inquest to start.