Defence in Isa Samad’s Graft Trial Wraps Up

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The defence of former Felda chairman Mohd Isa Samad, who is facing nine corruption charges amounting to RM3 million in connection with the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB), closed its case today after calling six witnesses.

Isa’s counsel, Salehuddin Saidin, told Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali the defence was closing its case after it last witness, Dr Mohd Zaqrul Razmal Mohd Podzi, 43, finished giving his evidence.

Zaqrul, in his evidence among others, said he had met Isa’s former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip to discuss the purchase of fuel by Felda.

Nazlan set November 4 to hear submissions from both parties before delivering his verdict.

He also ordered the prosecution and the defence to file their written submissions by or on October 2 and the reply before October 16.

On June 19, Nazlan ordered Isa to enter his defence on nine corruption charges after finding the prosecution had successfully proven its case against him.

On August 17, Isa, in his defence, denied receiving RM3 million, in nine transactions, from Zahid, over the purchase of MPHS and also said he never discussed or asked the latter about the purchase.

Seth Akmal/TMI

The defence took three days – August 17, 19 and today.

Isa was charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Ikhwan Zaidel, who is a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through Zahid, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the hotel by FICSB for RM160 million.

All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC between July 21, 2014, and December 11, 2015.

Each charge, framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, carries a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.