March hearing dates for Bung Moktar’s trial vacated

File photo showing  Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (second left) and his wife, actress Datin Seri Zizie Izette (third right)  at the KL Courts Complex. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
File photo showing Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (second left) and his wife, actress Datin Seri Zizie Izette (third right) at the KL Courts Complex. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The dates set for the hearing of a corruption case involving Kinabatangan Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife, actress Datin Seri Zizie Izette in March have been vacated following the government’s announcement on the movement control order, to be enforced beginning tomorrow, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob vacated the dates after allowing an application by lawyer Datuk K.Kumaraendran, representing the couple.

Kumaraendran told the court that he also should return to Penang, where his legal firm is located, to handle administrative matters as the office has to close tomorrow.

“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, we have to return to Penang to handle administrative matters such as paying the staff their salaries, and also to inform clients about their cases.

However, Rozina said she had not received any instruction from the Chief Registrar ‘s Office on the closure of the court and then ordered the prosecution to continue with the examination -in chief of the fifth witness in the case.

After the witness completed giving her testimony, Rozina ordered both parties into her chambers to fix new dates for the hearing.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry told reporters that the court fixed April 10 to continue hearing the case.

Earlier, Felcra Berhad board member Dr Habibah Suleiman, 72, testified that she could not remember whether or not the board gave permission for Bung Moktar to meet with the Finance Minister over Felcra’s RM150 million investment in the Public Mutual Berhad Unit Trust.

“I cannot remember,” she said, when questioned by Mohamad Fadhly.

According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, 60, who was at that time the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was accused of taking a bribe of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through his wife Zizie Izette.

He was accused of committing the act as a reward for obtaining approval from the Minister of Finance II for Felcra to make a RM150 million investment in Public Mutual unit trust products.

The offence was allegedly committed at Public Bank Berhad, Taman Melawati Branch, No. 262-265, Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati here, between 12.30 pm and 5 pm, on June 12, 2015.

For the second charge, Bung Moktar was accused of taking for himself a bribe of RM262,500 in cash from the same individual (Madhi) through an account of the bank’s investment product Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund (PITGF) numbered 044797816 and registered under the name of Zizie Izette for the same purpose.

Bung Moktar was also accused of taking for himself a bribe of RM337,500 from Public Mutual’s investment agent, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 42, through a Public Ittikal Sequel Fund (PITSEQ) account numbered 044797824 registered under the name of Zizie Izette for the same purpose. Both offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16 pm and 12.28 pm, on June 19, 2015.

The charges are framed under Subsection 17(a) of the MACC Act and punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act which provides for imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher, if convicted.

Zizie Izette, 41, a former actress, pleaded not guilty to three counts of abetting her husband on the same offences, at the same places, dates and times under Section 28(1)© of the MACC Act and punishable under subsection 24(1) which provides for imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher, if convicted. — Bernama

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