Bribery scandal unfolds: Hydroshoppe fails to quash charges over Menara KL deal

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The company accused of offering millions in bribes to a former minister over the sale of Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd (Menara KL) concessions and shares failed to set aside the charge.

Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob dismissed Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd’s application for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) or a temporary suspension of the trial pending the disposal of the similar corruption charge faced by its managing director Abdul Hamid Shaikh Abdul Razak Shaikh.

NST

On April 5, last year, Hamid claimed trial before judge Suzana Hussin for offering RM500,000 per year for 15 years to Datuk Tan Ser Lay, 60, for the benefit of the then communications and multimedia minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, at the ministry’s headquarters between July and August 2022.

The money was an inducement to approve the acquisition of Menara KL by the accused’s company.

On the same day, Hydroshoppe was charged with the same offence involving the same individuals before judge Rozina.

Hamid, who appeared on behalf of the company, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Rozina in her judgement said there were no special circumstances to justify the applicant’s request to be granted, considering it lacks foundation and has no merit whatsoever.

“The defence failed to show reasonable grounds for the trial to be granted a suspension.

“The court agrees with the respondent’s argument that this application is intentionally delaying the trial because the merit of the case can be determined by called prosecution witnesses.

“The applicant’s interests will not be prejudiced through a full trial of the case,” she said in her full judgement uploaded on the Judiciary’s e-judgment website on Friday.

She said the suspension of proceedings is at the discretion of the court and not an absolute right of the applicant.

She said the application was premature at this stage, considering that the respondent has applied for both cases (Hydroshoppe and Hamid) to be heard together.

“Therefore, since the applicant failed to prove any special circumstances warranting the suspension of these proceedings, it is indeed appropriate to reject the application,” she added.

On Jan 7, 2023, two senior directors of a company were remanded for four days to assist in investigation into the acquisition of Menara KL.

The two Datuks were the managing directors of the company that was allegedly involved in the takeover of Menara KL and a businessman who is believed to be the middleman in the acquisition.

An MACC probe had allegedly found that kickbacks of hundreds of thousands of ringgit and a luxury watch exchanged hands in the acquisition.

The takeover had gone viral on social media. People questioned TM’s decision to transfer full ownership of the tower to Hydroshoppe in October.

In 2022, Annuar denied having anything to do with the matter. He shot down the claims. – NST