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Decision on calling Isa Samad to enter his defence on June 16

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KUALA LUMPUR: The decision on whether former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad will be called to enter his defence or be freed from the charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption amounting to RM3 million will be known on June 16.

The date was set by High Court Judge, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali after hearing arguments by deputy public prosecutor, Afzainizam Abdul Aziz and counsel Datuk Salehuddin Saidin, who is representing Mohd Isa.

On Jan 14 , the prosecution closed its case after 15 days of hearing with 22 witnesses called to testify.

On  Dec 14 2018, Mohd Isa, 71, pleaded not guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust and nine counts of receiving bribes totalling RM3 million for approving the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB).

He was accused of committing the CBT at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC here, on April 29, 2014 under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides for imprisonment up to 20 years, whipping and fine, if found guilty.

All the bribery offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC near here between April 29 2014 and Dec 15 2015.

Earlier, Afzainizam in his argument numbering more than 600 pages said the important element presented by the prosecution was that Mohd Isa abused his position as Felda chairman by exceeding the stipulated investment mandate.

He said Mohd Isa also exceeded the mandate set by Felda as each project exceeding RM100 million should obtain the approval of the Felda Board of Directors.

He said the 15th prosecution witness, former FICSB chief executive officer, Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil had advised the accused on the mandate, but the accused told him (Mohd Zaid) that the deal need not be brought to Felda Board of Directors.

On the argument of the counsel which denied Mohd Isa received the money (RM3 million), Afzainizam said it was gratification.

“Nobody wants to leave trails, so it explains the nine transactions…there is no proof of receipts,  no records, all these are based on trust. SP16 (former managing director of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd Ikhwan Zaidel) trusted SP21 (former special officer to Mohd Isa, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip) similarly the accused trusted SP21.. this is important because he has to make sure the least among of people knew about this… only three persons knew (about the bribes) namely, the accused, Zahid and SP16,” he said.

Salehuddin argued that Muhammad Zahid is not a credible witness as his statement on how he received the money from ikhwan is not reasonable as there were no records of when the money was received.

“His answer is just ‘copy paste’ (giving the same answers when asked), this case is very said as it was based on baseless statements. I would say the charges were made up,” he said.

Salehuddin also said when Muhammad Zahid was giving his statement in court, he also mentioned three dates for handing over the money to Mohd Isa which were different from his statement in court and during the case investigation.

— BERNAMA

 

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