SHAH ALAM: Clad in a dark suit, former PAS deputy president Datuk Dr Nasharudin Mat Isa pleaded not guilty to 33 financial-related charges amounting to about RM4mil at the Sessions Court.
The charges involved allegations, among other things, that he channelled funds from a foundation for his personal benefit and to pay for his son’s wedding.
The 33 charges involved 30 counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three counts of money laundering.
Nasharudin, who was seated in the dock, entered his not guilty plea when the charges were read to him before judge Rozilah Salleh yesterday.
For the 30 counts of CBT, Nasharudin was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison term of between two and 20 years, and with whipping, and liable to a fine, upon conviction.
For charges one to 27, Nasharudin had allegedly in his capacity as Yayasan Nassar chairman committed CBT by channelling RM1,131,647.80 from the foundation’s funds for his personal benefit and to pay several entities.
He had allegedly used the funds to pay himself a monthly salary of RM20,000 in 2015 and several months in 2016.
He had allegedly misappropriated funds from a charity called Yayasan Nassar which he had set up in 2010 to pay the food catering for an unnamed son’s wedding.
He had also allegedly used the funds to pay Knowledge Vision Sdn Bhd for the purchase of a shoplot in Bandar Puteri Bangi; to purchase shares in Hajj Finance Company Limited; to pay his son Ammar’s college fees; and to give his daughter Nusaibah a loan of RM34,000.
Nasharudin had allegedly committed the offences at the Country Heights branch of CIMB Bank between Jan 8,2015 and March 1,2018.
For charges 28 to 30, he allegedly used his position as Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) chief executive officer to misappropriate the organisation’s funds amounting to RM2.6mil to be channelled into his company Wasatiyah Centre For Peace Sdn Bhd under the pretext of giving research grants.
He allegedly committed the offences at the Menara Felda Platinum Park branch of Maybank between July 30 and Aug 8,2018.
For the three counts of money laundering, he was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA), which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, or a fine of not less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity or RM5mil, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
According to the charge sheet, Nasharudin had allegedly transferred RM25,500, RM76,569.60 and RM200,000 from Wasatiyah Centre For Peace to SMR Performance Sdn Bhd, Sisma Auto (KL) Sdn Bhd and Duadaya Interior Sdn Bhd respectively.
The monies were allocation from the Finance Ministry to GMMF.
Nasharudin had allegedly committed the offences at the Country Heights branch of CIMB Bank between Nov 9 and Dec 20,2018.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutors Allan Suman Pillai and Mohd Zaki Mohd Salleh led the prosecution while lawyer Md Yunos Shariff represented Nasharudin.
After the charges were read, DPP Allan offered RM1mil as bail for the 30 CBT charges and RM500,000 for the three counts of money laundering.
He added that an appropriate amount should be set as bail – one that was not seen as a punishment but to ensure attendance of the accused in court.
Md Yunos argued that the amount was too high, adding that Nasharudin was now a pensioner with meagre means.
He also said that Nasharudin was not a flight risk, having been present at MACC offices each time he was called to help with investigation.
Rozilah set bail at RM330,000 for all charges in one surety and ordered Nasharudin to surrender his international passport to the court until the case was over.
She set Nov 28 for case mention and for documents to be submitted.
She also asked the prosecution to submit the list of witnesses by that date.
Nasharudin, 57, who was Bachok MP from 2008 to 2013, was chief executive officer of the now defunct GMMF from 2015 to 2018.