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Musa’s trial: Who’s who in the charge sheets

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KINIGUIDE | On Nov 5, Musa Aman, former Sabah chief minister - and its longest-serving head of state government - was charged with 35 counts for corruption involving kickbacks for timber contracts.

The 35 charge sheets outline a long list of individuals and proxies used to allegedly handle the money - amounting to about RM263 million at today’s exchange rate - that was meant for Musa.

In this instalment of KiniGuide, we take you through the list of individuals who either allegedly paid Musa, or received the money on his behalf.

Michael Chia Tien Foh

Chia’s name appears in 16 of the 35 charge sheets against Musa. According to three charge sheets, Chia had allegedly transferred US$20,329,828.16 to lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes in 2006.

He was also alleged to have received a total of US$7,632,397.87 in 13 different tranches, which the charge sheet states were kickbacks from logging contracts meant for Musa between 2004 and 2007.

Back in 2009, Hong Kong's anti-graft agency, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) charged Chia (photo) with money laundering after he was caught red-handed at the Hong Kong International Airport with Singapore currency worth RM40 million, just before boarding a flight bound for KL.

Nazri Abdul Aziz, the de facto law minister at the time, famously told Parliament in 2012 that MACC had cleared Chia of any wrongdoing, explaining that the RM40 million had in fact been political donations for Sabah Umno, not for Musa...

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