Isa Samad charged with CBT

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KUALA LUMPUR :- Former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was charged in the Sessions Court here today with one count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and nine counts of corruption , involving more than RM3 million, in connection with a hotel purchase in Kuching, Sarawak, by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

However, Mohd Isa, 69, pleaded not guilty to all the charges which were read out before judge Azura Alwi.

On the first count, Mohd Isa was charged as director of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd and trusted with the company fund, had committed 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.

His action was contrary to the decision of the Felda Board of Directors at its meeting, No. 303 dated June 25, 2013 that was made in respect of the implementation of the trust in which members of the Felda Board of Directors had given their mandate to members of the FIC Board of Directors to make decision on investments involving projects valued at RM100 million and below.

He was charged with committing the offence at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC near here 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.

On the second to the 10th charge, Mohd Isa was charged with 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 near here 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.

The prosecution team is led by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar , while Mohd Isa is represented by lawyers Datuk K. Kumaraendran and Ridha Abdah Subri.