KOTA KINABALU – Former Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB), general manager, George @ Juuari Majid, was Tuesday charged with cheating the government of some RM9 million for a fictitious sale of state land.
Facing the charge of abetment before Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Abdul Manat, was oil palm plantation owner How Kim San, 55.
George was accused of approving the unauthorised sale of 410 acres of state land in Keningau to How between March to August 2013 at the SLDB office in Kota Kinabalu.
George, 63, helmed the statutory body up to 2013.
Both the accused pleaded not guilty to their separate charges of criminal breach of trust and abetting respectivel.
According to a Malay Mail online report, George was accused of approving sale of the land which he was not authorised.
He had allegedly approve a sum of RM8,999,999.30 in cash as compensation for land and crops on four plots of land in Kampung Babason, Sook, Keningau, and the money was banked from SLDB’s Alliance Bank account into the CIMB bank account of the legal firm representing How.
The 410 acres of state land was said to have been “sold” without the approval of the SLDB board of directors nor the Finance ministry.
George was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust while How was accused under Section 109 for abetment. Both carry a sentence of not less than two years jail and not more than 20 years with caning, and/or a fine.
Justice Abu Bakar set bail at RM100,000 along with two sureties and the surrender of their passports.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib requested bail to be at RM500,000, stating that the charge was a non-bailable offence and a high bail amount would reduce both the accused as flight risks.
But lawyers Erveana Ansari and Sugumaran Balakrishnan representing George and How respectively said their clients had deep roots in Sabah and were not likely to abscond.
The judge also scheduled October 27 for remention.