Decision on former Youth and Sports Ministry official's graft case postponed again

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision in the corruption case of former Youth and Sports Ministry finance division secretary Otman Arsahd has been postponed for the fourth time.

Sessions Court judge Kamarudin Kamsun fixed another date to deliver his decision as he was not ready to deliver the verdict.

He said there were several things that he needed to study before coming to a decision.

ALSO READ: Court postpones decision on former ministry senior officer's graft, money laundering case to May 12

"The court fixed a new date on July 6 for the decision. I apologise," he said here on Friday (May 19).

Lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, who represented Otman, and deputy public prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal @ Zainol did not object to the new date.

The proceeding to hear the decision at the end of the defence case faced by Otman, 64, was postponed twice on March 30 and April 19 due to the defence filing additional submissions and the court fixing a new date on May 12.

On May 12, the proceedings were vacated and postponed to Friday.

Otman's case has been ongoing for seven years since he was charged on March 31, 2016.

A total of 70 prosecution witnesses were called to testify.

The defence called Otman as its sole witness and closed its case on Nov 29 last year.

In 2016, Otman was charged with 32 counts of abuse of power and with submitting false claims involving RM38.4mil at the National Sports Council office, Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex here between Feb 28, 2012 and Nov 18, 2015.

ALSO READ: Verdict on former Youth and Sports Ministry senior officer's corruption case on April 19

The 17 charges of allegedly submitting false claims were framed under Section 18(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act (MACC) 2009, while the remaining 15 charges of abuse of power were under Section 23(1) of the same Act.

In April 2016, Otman was charged with 64 counts of receiving RM16,623,000 from unlawful proceeds, through cheques, which were deposited into his Maybank, RHB and CIMB Berhad accounts between March 7, 2012 and Dec 11, 2015.

He was alleged to have committed the offences at different locations, including the RHB Bank branch in Precinct 8, Putrajaya; Menara Maybank, Jalan Tun Perak; and the Maybank branch in Jalan Raja.

The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, or a fine not less than five times the sum of the unlawful proceeds activities, if convicted.

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