Court upholds acquittal of ex-SLDB GM

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has upheld the acquittal of former Sabah Land Develop­ment Board (SLDB) general manager Datuk Wasli Mohd Said from two counts of bribery charges involving RM1mil.

Justice Mohtarudin Baki, who chaired the three-man panel, delivered the decision after dismissing the prosecution’s appeal yesterday.

“There is no merit in the appeal. No appealable error that warrants our intervention.

“The order of the High Court to acquit the respondent is affir­med,” he said.

Justice Mohtarudin made the ruling after hearing submissions from Deputy Public Prosecutor Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud and Wasli’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

The other judges on the panel were Justices Hamid Sultan Abu Backer and Yaacob Md Sam.

Wasli, 69, had claimed trial at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Feb 10, 2006, to offering a RM500,000 bribe to SLDB director John Liaw Chee Shing as an inducement for him 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.

He was accused of committing the offence at Hotel Fairlane in Kuala Lumpur between 10.20am and 10.30am on Oct 22, 1996.

Wasli also pleaded not guilty to offering a RM500,000 bribe to SLDB director Michael Emban as an inducement for him to agree during its board meeting to a proposal for the sale of SLDB shares in Sapi Plantations to Briskmark Enterprise.

He allegedly committed the offence at the same hotel between 9.40am and 10.20am, also on Oct 22, 1996.

On June 7, 2016, Wasli was acquitted and discharged by the Kuala Lumpur High Court of the two char­ges without his defence being called.