KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad has been granted a stay of execution for his fine and prison sentence after being found guilty and convicted of corruption earlier today.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, after considering the arguments presented by the defence and prosecution, allowed Mohd Isa to stay his six-year imprisonment and RM15.45 million fine.
“The court is satisfied with the points raised that managed to show special circumstances in the case of the accused for the court to allow a stay of execution until the end of his appeal.
“In line with that, the court also imposes a RM1.5 million bail that must be paid in full by the accused by 2pm tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.
The judge then allowed Mohd Isa to top up the RM800,000 already in the court’s possession from bail collected when he was first charged to make up the RM1.5 million figure.
Mohd Nazlan also instructed Mohd Isa to report to the police station closest to his home on the first of every month until the disposal of the appeal.
This was after Mohd Nazlan found the former Felda chairman guilty on nine counts of corruption, and had sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment and a fine of RM15.45 million.
Earlier when arguing for the stay, lead defence counsel Datuk Salehuddin Saidin, as he did during mitigation for sentencing, had referred to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International corruption trial.
Salehuddin highlighted that, Mohd Nazlan, who presided over the former prime minister’s trial, had granted Najib a stay of execution despite imposing a heavier 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine.
“Basically my client’s case here is same as the case of Datuk Seri Najib, where the only difference if the magnitude.
“[Najib] was charged with RM40 over million, he received 12-years imprisonment, a RM210 million fine, and was granted a stay of execution for both the fine and his prison sentence.
“If he can get equal treatment, surely my client can also get equal treatment,” he said.
Salehuddin then proposed the Court to instead increase the bail of his client, again as what was granted in Najib’s case, and assuring the judge that Mohd Isa would not abscond if granted the stay.
He added that refusing the stay application and sending his client to jail immediately would put him at risk of exposure to Covid-19, considering how so many clusters have emerged from such centres.
In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz countered by urging the Court to deny Mohd Isa the stay for both his prison sentence and fine, arguing the defence had failed to present any argument of merit to allow for one.
He also refuted the supposedly similarities between Mohd Isa and Najib’s case, saying both cases differed in principles of law and in terms of case facts.
Afzainizam then said that despite the worries of exposure to Covid-19, Mohd Isa would be subject to strict SOPs within the prison if the Court decides to refuse the stay.
The government lawyer again raised the point as he did during mitigation for sentencing, of how Mohd Isa should be able to pay the fine just imposed on him, given the length of his trial, suggesting the accused should have saved up in anticipation of being handed a guilty verdict.
“There is already ample time to raise the sum required where in this case he has to pay minimum five times the amount of gratification.
“He has been sitting through this trial and is aware of the consequences and should have prepared the funds needed to pay the fine.
“Cumulatively the accused has not shown special circumstances for a stay to be granted for his imprisonment and fine and we pray that the full effect of the judgement from today be enforced,” he said.
Afzainizam added that should the Court decide to deny the stay application, Mohd Isa can still go through with his appeal at the Court of Appeal, regardless if he is incarcerated or not.
Mohd Nazlan then took several minutes to consider the arguments from both sides before granting the stay with its added conditions.