KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was informed that Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad (pic) has changed his legal team for his criminal breach of trust (CBT) and graft case involving RM3.09mil.
His new lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin informed High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali of the matter on Friday (Aug 30).
Salehuddin, who has replaced lawyers Ridha Abdah Subri and Lavinia Kumaraendran, said that he would also send a representation letter to the Attorney General’s Chambers in relation to the former Felda chairman's charges.
“The two lawyers will no longer be handling this case, and we will send a representation letter to the Attorney General's Chambers on the charges,” he said.
The prosecution, led by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Hamid, confirmed the matter.
Justice Mohd Nazlan fixed Sept 23 as the next case management date and set Sept 20 as the delivery date for the prosecution to send all the documents related to the case to the defence, including the witness statements.
He also told the defence to inform the court should there be any updates on the representation.
The trial dates had earlier been fixed for Oct 7-9, Oct 14-18, and Oct 21-25 before Justice Mohd Nazlan.
Mohd Isa, 70, was charged on Dec 14 last year (2018) with one count of CBT and nine counts of corruption at the Sessions Court, before the case was moved to the High Court.
On the CBT charge, he was alleged to have approved RM160mil for the purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites in Kuching, Sarawak, without approval from Felda’s board of directors.
The charge was under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, whipping and a fine, upon conviction.
On the corruption charge, he was alleged to have received a cash gratification of RM3.09mil from Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through one Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, in return for helping approve the hotel purchase by FIC Sdn Bhd, for RM160mil.
The charges was filed under Section 16 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which carries a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of up to five times the amount of bribes received, upon conviction.