Feb 3 date for decision on Isa Samad's RM3mil corruption case

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court here will make a ruling on whether former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad will be acquitted or convicted on nine corruption charges involving RM3mil, over the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, on Feb 3.

High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali set the date after hearing submission from both parties at the end of the defence case Thursday (Dec 24).

In thanking both the parties for their submissions, he said he would give his decision on the matter at 9.30am on Feb 3.

Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz prosecuted in the case, while the defence team was led by lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin.

Hearing of the case began on Oct 8 last year with the prosecution calling 22 witnesses to testify, including former Felda director-general Datuk Hanapi Suhada.

Also called to testify were former chief executive officer of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC) Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil and former board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd Ikhwan Zaidel.

On Sept 3, the defence closed its case after calling six witnesses to testify, with Isa called as the first witness.

Other witnesses called to testify were Isa’s former secretary Zuraida Ariffin @ Shaari and former special officer Kamar Bashah Shariff.

Isa was charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Ikhwan, 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 hotel by FIC for RM160mil.

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.

All the charges were framed under Section 16a(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, which provides for a jail term not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

On June 16, the High Court ordered Isa, who is also the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar, to enter his defence on the nine charges after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in creating a prima facie case against him.

However, the court released and acquitted him on a charge of criminal breach of trust (CBT) in connection with the purchase of the hotel after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie in the case. – Bernama

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