‘Ex-Sime CEO must face CBT charges’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Jul 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Sime Darby Bhd president and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubair Murshid (pic) has failed to get a discharge not amounting to an acquittal over his criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges.

Sessions Court judge Murtazadi Amran held that the two CBT charges against him were not defective.

Speaking to the media, DPP Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi said the court ruled that the charges were not defective based on documents exhibited.

Ahmad Zubair’s lawyer S. Devanandan confirmed the details of the ruling. The judge has set Aug 23 for mention.

On July 17 last year, Ahmad Zubair was charged in the Sessions Court with two counts of CBT involving more than RM100mil.

The charges were in connection with the acquisition of native customary rights (NCR) land in Sarikei under the Sarawak Upstream Expansion Plan.

In the first charge, he was accused of failing to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17, 2008 and Nov 28, 2008, to rectify the award of the NCR land in KJD/Lower Julau, Sg Julau/Sg Pitoh/Sg Jiet and part of Merurun/Meluan/Entabai in Sarikei to Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd; thereby causing Sime Darby to incur losses amounting to RM85,023,047.20 for having to acquire Vertical Drive.

In the second charge, he was accused of failing to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 to rectify the award of the NCR land in the confluence of Btg Rejang/Btg Baleh, Kapit and the remaining eastern half of the Merurun/Meluan/Entabai and Julau to Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd; thus causing Sime Darby to incur losses amounting to RM16,816,217 in having to acquire Nature Ambience.

He claimed trial to both charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code. Ahmad Zubair also claimed trial to two alternative charges of cheating under Section 418 of the Penal Code.

Under these two charges, he was accused of failing to inform Sime Darby’s board of directors on Nov 28, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 respectively that the NCR land in Sarikei had instead been awarded to Vertical Drive and Nature Ambience.

The High Court had on March 15 dismissed an application by Ahmad Zubair to strike out his charges after it ruled that there was no merit.

The accused was also represented by Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden and Stanley Augustin, while DPP Kevin Morais was also on the prosecution team.

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