March 9 hearing for ex-SSM CEO, son’s graft trial

Former Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) CEO Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner appears at the Sessions Court in Ipoh October 7, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Former Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) CEO Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner appears at the Sessions Court in Ipoh October 7, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 ― The Sessions Court here today fixed 34 days starting March 9 for the trial of graft cases against former Malaysian Companies Commission (SSM) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner and her son Abdulazeez Wan Ruslan.

Judge Azura Alwi fixed the 34-day period beginning March 9 to 10; March 30 and 31; April 6 to 13; June 1 and 2; July 6 to 9; July 20 to 23; Aug 10 to 14; Sep 1 to 3 and Sept 21 to 24, next year.

She said if the defence wanted to submit a representation, the application should be submitted on or before the date of the trial.

Earlier, DPP Norzilati Izhani Zainal @ Zainol informed the court that the prosecution had handed over some of the documents related to the case to the defence today.

“About 70 prosecution witnesses will be called during the trial,” she said.

Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican representing Zahrah submitted the application for the temporary return of his client's passport to enable her to attend her brother-in-law’s wedding which will take place on Jan 3 next year in New Zealand.

The court allowed Zahrah’s application and ordered her passport to be released on Dec 23 with an additional condition of RM20,000 to be deposited (for the release of the passport).

“The accused is also ordered to submit a copy of the flight itinerary to the court and the prosecution before or on Dec 19 and her passport has to be returned to court on Jan 7 next year,” she said, adding that the RM20,000 deposit would be given back to the defence once the passport returned to the court.

On Oct 2, Zahrah, 60, was charged with 33 counts of bribery, abuse of power and abetment involving RM5.7 million in exchange for her approving entrepreneurial programmes and appointment of companies for SSM contracts.

All of these offences were alleged to have been committed at SSM, SSM Tower @ Central, Level 30, No.7, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, and at the pH Pastry House, 1 Jalan Tasik Utama 3, Medan Niaga Tasik Damai, Lake Fields, Sungai Besi here and at Maybank Islamic Berhad, Maybank Square between December 2015 to March 2019.

Meanwhile, Abdulazeez, 33, was charged with two counts of receiving bribery and two counts of abetting his mother totalling RM160,000.

Meanwhile, the graft charges against Zahrah and Abdulazeez at the Ipoh Sessions Court have been transferred to the Sessions Court here for a joint trial.

Zahrah, charged with two counts of abetting Abdulazeez who had received a total of RM250,000 from a company director Samhan Adnan as a fee to get his mother (Zahrah) to approve the Internal Memo of the Finance and Accounts Division, Investment and Financial Management Section to Ace Holdings Berhad on April 19, 2018, at the Maybank branch in Menglembu in April and May 2018.

Abdulazeez also charged with two counts of corruption, amounting to RM250,000, as a fee from Samhan to secure his mother’s approval pertaining to the internal memo, on the same date and place.

These charges were filed, among other, under Section 28 (1) (c), Section 16 (a) (A) and Section 24 (1) of the same law, which provides for punishment a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000 or whichever is higher, upon conviction. ― Bernama

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