The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was told that former Felda chairperson Mohd Isa Abdul Samad (photo, above) has appointed new lawyers to handle one criminal breach of trust (CBT) case and nine corruption cases he is facing involving more than RM3 million in connection with a hotel purchase in Kuching, Sarawak by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) Sdn Bhd.
The matter was informed by the new lead counsel Salehuddin Saidin when the case was mentioned before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali today.
“We have just been appointed by our client (Mohd Isa). Prior to this, the lawyers handling the cases were Ridha Abdah Subri dan Lavinia Kumaraendran.
“Both of them are no longer handling the case. We will file representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers regarding the charges,” he said without explaining why the two lawyers no longer represented Mohd Isa, 70.
Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz then said that the prosecution would submit all documents, including witnesses’ statements to the defence on or before Sept 20.
Sept 23 was set for case management.
On Dec 14, 2018, Mohd Isa pleaded not guilty to one charge of CBT by approving a proposal for the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak, for RM160 million without the approval of the Felda Board of Directors.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, on April 29, 2014. The charge was framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years, whipping and fine, if found guilty.
He was also charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000.00, from Ikhwan Zaidel, who is a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through one Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak , by FIC Sdn Bhd, for RM160 million.
All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.
The charges were made under Section 16a(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, which provides a jail term of not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.