KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The prosecution will prove that former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad had received more than RM3 million in bribes over the approval of the purchase of a hotel in Kuching, Sarawak, by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB).
Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz said the prosecution would present evidence that the accused had received bribes from Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd Director Ikhwan Zaidel through Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, the accused’s special officer.
“Bribes of RM500,000, RM500,000, RM300,000, RM500,000 and RM500,000 were handed over by the Ikhwan to the accused (Mohd Isa) through Muhammad Zahid,” he said in reading the opening statement on the first day of Mohd Isa’s trial at before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Afzainizam said the prosecution would present evidence showing that the accused had ordered Muhammad Zahid to obtain a bribe from Ikhwan as a reward to the accused who had helped to approve the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites, (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak by FICSB.
He said in proving the case against Mohd Isa, the prosecution would rely on direct evidence, circumstantial evidence and documentary evidence to show that all the offences had been committed by the former Felda chairman.
On the charge of receiving the bribes, Afzainizam said the prosecution would present evidence indicating that the accused had received a RM100,000 bribe which was an advance from Ikhwan through Muhammad Zahid.
He said the prosecution would present evidence that the accused had signed a Telegraph Delivery Letter dated June 30, 2014 to direct the Jalan Maktab Maybank Branch to make a RM16 million payment which was a ten per cent payment from the MPHS acquisition fee to Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd on July 1, 2014.
The prosecution will submit evidence showing that after Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd received a sum of RM16 million from FICSB, on July 10, 2014, the company had paid a RM1 million commission to JV Evolution Sdn Bhd, an agent appointed by the company, he said.
Subsequently, the prosecution will present evidence showing that Ikhwan had directed JV Evolution Sdn Bhd Company to withdraw money for him, of which RM140,000 bribe was given to the accused through Muhammad Zahid.
“The prosecution will present evidence showing that after the second payment of RM43,126,938.77 was paid by FICSB to JANG Assets Networking Group Ltd through Messrs. Mohamed Ridza & Co on September 25, 2014 under the MPHS Purchase Agreement, the accused had ordered Muhammad Zahid to obtain bribes from Ikhwan,” he said.
Afzainizam said the prosecution would submit evidence showing that on October 16, 2014 Syarikat Gegasan Abadi had paid a second commission amounting to RM2,695,433 to JV Evolution Sdn Bhd.
“The prosecution will present evidence that Ikhwan had ordered JV Evolution to withdraw the money to be given to him (Ikhwan). Bribes of RM300,000 and RM250,000 were given to Ikhwan and to the accused through Muhammad Zahid,” he said.
He said the prosecution would also show evidence that after the bribes were given to the accused, Syarikat Gegasan Abadi did not receive the remaining balance of RM100 million payable under the MPHS Sales and Purchase Agreement from FICSB.
“The prosecution will submit evidence showing that in May 2015, the accused had ordered Felda Director-General Datuk Hanapi Suhada to expedite the payment of RM1 million to enable FICSB to make payments to Syarikat Gegasan Abadi.
“The prosecution will also present evidence showing that after Syarikat Gegasan Abadi received RM1 million from FICSB on May 29, 2015, the company had paid a third commission of RM6,304,567 to JV Evolution on June 16, 2015,” he said.
On December 14, 2018, Mohd Isa pleaded not guilty to one count of breach of trust, and nine counts of receiving bribes amounting to more than RM3 million.
He was charged with criminal breach of trust at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC on April 29, 2014, in accordance with Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping and a fine upon conviction.
Mohd Isa, 70, was charged with all offences of receiving bribes at Level 49, Menara Tower, between July 21, 2014 and December 11, 2015, under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, which is punishable under Section 24 (1) of the same act which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher, if found guilty. — Bernama