Labuan MP claims trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli has claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to a charge of abuse of power to obtain a contract for a company linked to his family.

The Opposition lawmaker from Parti Warisan Sabah pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to him before judge Rozina Ayob yesterday.

The 57-year-old is accused of using his position as the Labuan Port Authority deputy chairman to secure a gratification, which is an employment contract as the operator of Dermaga Merdeka Pelabuhan Labuan, for Labuan Liberty Port Management Sdn Bhd, a company in which Rozman’s father and brother have interests.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Transport Ministry headquarters in Jalan Tun Hussein, Presint 4, Putrajaya, between 2.30pm and 5.30pm on March 23, 2018.

The charge under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 carries a maximum 20-year jail term and a fine of at least five times the amount or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed the court that the prosecution and the defence had agreed for bail to be set at RM100,000.

The court fixed bail at RM100,000 in one surety and ordered the accused to surrender his passport.

Rozina also asked for the bailor to be a resident of the peninsula living in Kuala Lumpur.

“In the event that a movement control order is imposed, it would be hard (if the bailor is based out of state),” she said.

The case is fixed for mention on Nov 19.

Rozman is represented by lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali.

In a statement after he was charged, Rozman claimed that the charge was politically motivated and aimed at forcing him to leave Warisan and support the current government.

He said that in over 20 months, he had been offered positions and persuaded to switch sides numerous times.

“I will stand firm with my decision to stick with the party and face the challenges ahead,” he said.

Rozman added that he was confident that the legal system would be fair and just and in time prove his innocence.

The Sabahan leader won the Labuan parliamentary seat in 2013 and retained it in the May 2018 general election, both times under the Barisan Nasional banner.

He quit Umno to join Warisan in October 2018.

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