KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 Former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad is found guilty on nine corruption charges involving RM3 million over the agency’s purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak, almost seven years ago.
High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, in his decision, found that the defence by Mohd Isa, 71, was a mere denial and that the accused also failed to raise reasonable doubts against the prosecution’s case at the end of the defence case.
“With this, the court found that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing the case beyond reasonable doubts against the accused.
“Therefore, the accused is found guilty and convicted of offences under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act,” he added.
Judge Mohd Nazlan said the court also found the defence by the accused that the 21st prosecution witness (SP21), Muhammad Zahid Md Arip (Mohd Isa’s former special political officer), who was an interested witness, had implicated the accused in the case, was an after thought.
“The defence by the accused that SP21 conspired with other witnesses to share RM2 million was without merit and unacceptable,” the judge said.
Mohd Isa was charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Ikhwan Zaidel, who is a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAPSB), through his former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the hotel by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) for RM160 million.
All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC near here between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, which provides a jail term of not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
The prosecution team was led by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, while lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin led the defence team.