The decision on whether former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad will be called to enter his defence or be freed from criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption charges amounting to RM3 million will be known tomorrow.
High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is scheduled to deliver the verdict at 10am on one count of CBT and nine counts of receiving bribes in connection with the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) faced by the former Mentri Besar of Negri Sembilan.
High Court deputy registrar Mahyuddin Mohmad Som, when contacted, confirmed the matter.
Justice Mohd Nazlan fixed the date after hearing arguments at the end of the prosecution’s case from deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz and counsel Datuk Salehuddin Saidin who is representing Mohd Isa, 71.
If the court was in Isa’s favour, he will be acquitted and if not, he will be ordered to enter his defence where he will have three options to answer the charges against him — either by sworn evidence from the witness box where he will be subject to cross-examination by the prosecution or through an unsworn statement from the dock or to remain silent.
On January 14 this year, the prosecution closed its case after 15 days of hearing with 22 witnesses called to testify.
On December 14, 2018, Mohd Isa pleaded not guilty to one charge of CBT and nine counts of receiving bribes totalling RM3 million for approving the purchase of MPHS in Kuching, by FICSB.
He was alleged to have committed the CBT at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC here, on April 29, 2014, and charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment up to 20 years, whipping and fine, if found guilty.
All the bribery offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC near here between April 29, 2014, and December 15, 2015.
Among the witnesses called during the trial were former FICSB chief executive officer, Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil; Mohd Isa’s former special officer, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip; and two former FICSB secretaries, Cheong Choon Yin and Nurul Uyun Abdul Jabat.
Mohd Isa is currently out on RM800,000 bail with one surety.