KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): Submissions at the end of defence for former Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad's graft trial in relation to a hotel purchase in Sarawak, previously scheduled for today in the High Court, have now been deferred until Dec 24.

The hearing was supposed to resume today before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, but owing to the conditional movement control order (CMCO), it was postponed.

Nazlan's deputy registrar Mahyudin Mohmad Som and Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, when contacted by theedgemarkets.com, confirmed the adjournment today.

“Despite the court's operations [being] expected to resume next Monday, the court could not fix an earlier suitable date, and the Dec 24 date is suitable for both parties (the prosecution and the defence),” said Mahyudin.

Submissions for the case were originally fixed for Nov 4, but had to be deferred due to the CMCO.

The defence closed its case on Sept 3 before Justice Nazlan, where a total of six defence witnesses, including Isa himself, testified in the trial, while 15 prosecution witnesses also gave evidence.

On June 16, Isa was ordered by Justice Nazlan to enter his defence against nine counts of graft charges in relation to a total of RM3.09 million he allegedly received from Ikhwan Zaidel, a director of Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd that owned the hotel.

Syarikat Gegasan previously owned the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, but sold the property to Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC), a subsidiary of Felda, for RM160 million — an amount the prosecution contended was overinflated.

All the offences were allegedly committed on Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No 11, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.

The graft charges were made under Section 16 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and, if found guilty, Isa faces a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of up to five times the amount of bribes he received.

Isa was, however, acquitted without his defence called for a criminal breach of trust (CBT) charge.

 

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