Bung Moktar and wife to enter defence

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The couple will be giving sworn evidence from the witness box.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad have been ordered to enter their defence on all three charges of corruption amounting to RM2.8mil over unit trust investments.

Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob said the prosecution had successfully adduced credible evidence proving each and every essential ingredient of the offences.

She said a prima facie case had therefore been made out against the accused and ordered them to enter their defence.

She then gave them three options – giving sworn evidence from the witness box, giving an unsworn statement from the dock where they cannot be cross-examined or choosing to remain silent, in which case the court must proceed to convict.

Bung Moktar, 64, who is also Kinabatangan MP, and Zizie Izette later said that they will be giving evidence under oath.

Izzrafiq Alias/The Star

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here where he was slapped with three charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.8 million to obtain approval for Felcra Berhad to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, who was then the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was accused of accepting bribes of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent, Madhi Abdul Hamid, through Zizie Izette, at Public Bank’s Taman Melawati branch in Kuala Lumpur between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

For the second charge, Bung Moktar is accused of accepting a bribe of RM262,500 in cash from Madhi through the Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund (PITGF) account number 044797816 registered in the name of Zizie Izette, for a similar purpose.

Bung Moktar is also accused of accepting a bribe of RM337,500 in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, through the Public Ittikal Sequel Fund (PITSEQ) account number 044797824 registered in the name of Zizie Izette.

The latter two offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16pm and 12.28pm, on June 19, 2015.

Zizie, 44, pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband in the matter at the same place, date and time.

On May 17, the prosecution closed its case after calling 30 witnesses to testify at the trial which began on Jan 2, 2020.

Among the prosecution witnesses called to testify were former finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, former Felcra Investments general manager Adnan Yusof, Felcra board member Dr Habibah Suleiman, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Assistant Superintendent Norsharil Saharom, as well as Public Mutual investment agents, Madhi Abdul Hamid and Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar.

The case is being handled by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Faridz Gohim Abdullah, Mohd Sophian Zakaria and Law Chin How, while lawyer M Athimulan represents Bung Moktar and lawyers Datuk K Kumaraendran and Ridha Abdah Subri are counsels for Zizie Izette. – The Star