Isa maintains not guilty plea, trial to start on Oct 7


KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who was charged with one count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and nine counts of receiving gratification totalling over RM3mil, will start on Oct 7 at the High Court.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali fixed the date after Isa, 70, maintained his not guilty plea on all charges at the High Court here yesterday.

The hearing will be from Oct 7 to 9 and Oct 14 to 25.

Yesterday was the first mention of the case at the High Court after it was transferred from the Sessions Court.

As former Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd director and trusted with the company fund, Isa was charged with committing CBT by approving a proposal for the purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak for RM160mil, without approval of the Felda board of directors.

He was charged with committing the offence at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persia­ran KLCC, near here, on April 29, 2014. The charge under the Penal Code provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years, whipping and fine, if found guilty.

Case to be heard: Isa is charged with one count of CBT and nine counts of bribery.

Isa was also charged with dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Ikhwan Zaidel, who is a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through one Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites by FIC Sdn Bhd.

All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC, near here, between July 21, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.

The charges under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 provides a jail term not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, on conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai asked the court to maintain the bail of RM800,000 imposed on Isa when he was first charged in the Sessions Court.

Lawyer Ridha Abdah Subri, representing Isa, did not object.

Allan also informed the court that all documents pertaining to the case had been submitted to the defence, but there were three incomplete documents which would be submitted this week.

Nazlan ordered Isa to surrender his passport to the court. The court set May 13 for case management. — Bernama

Isa Samad