KUALA LUMPUR (May 13): The High Court has today fixed Aug 30 for case management for the prosecution in former Felda chairperson Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad's criminal breach of trust (CBT) and graft case involving a RM3.09 million bribe, to exchange witness statements with the defence.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali fixed the date after Deputy Public Prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai told the court that the prosecution has finished submitting all documents related to the case to Mohd Isa's defence team and suggested that a mention date be fixed a month before the scheduled trial date, which is set to begin on Oct 7.
"This is for the prosecution to furnish the defence with the witness statements of our witnesses for the case," he said, suggesting the Aug 30 date.
Mohd Isa's lawyers Ridha Abdah Subri and Lavinia Kumaraendran agreed to that date.
Following this Justice Nazlan agreed to fix the date for case management.
It was reported last month that Justice Nazlan had fixed 13 dates beginning Oct 7 to 9, and Oct 14 to 25 as trial dates. Allan had said the prosecution will be calling 30 witnesses.
Mohd Isa had claimed trial to one CBT charge and nine counts of receiving a RM3.09 million bribe that is linked to Felda's purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, by Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC Sdn Bhd).
On the first charge, Mohd Isa was alleged to have approved the hotel purchase for RM160 million without approval of Felda's board of directors. He was charged with committing the offence at Menara Felda here on April 29, 2014.
The charge was framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, together with whipping and a fine, upon conviction.
Under the graft charges, he was accused of dishonestly receiving a cash gratification of RM3.09 million from Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, in return for helping approve the hotel purchase by FIC Sdn Bhd, for RM160 million.
The graft charges were made under Section 16 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, under which Mohd Isa stands to face a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of up to five times the amount of bribes he received.
Muhammad Zahid was Mohd Isa's former special officer. He is now working as an aide to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.