An ex-political secretary to former Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with five counts of accepting and soliciting bribes, amounting to RM6.35 million, to help a company to secure projects by the ministry.
However, Mohd Azhar Che Mat Dali, 49, pleaded not guilty to all the charges which were read out to him before judge Azura Alwi.
On one of the charges, Mohd Azhar was alleged to have solicited RM5 million from FEHM Entity Sdn Bhd managing director Elias Jemadi Tajudin as gratification to help the company to be selected as a strategic partner and contractor for maintenance of the Prism Systems Intelligence Equipment, Directorate of Information Warfare (DPI), Defence Intelligence Staff Division (BSPP), Ministry of Defence Malaysia.
He was charged with committing the offence at a hotel in Jalan Ampang, Kampung Baru, on July 22, 2019.
On four other charges, Mohd Azhar was charged with accepting RM1.35 million from Elias Jemadi through a director of Syarikat Ikaira Resources, Zainudin Abdul Majid, and Aqsa Solutions Sdn Bhd director Ahmad Hisham Mohd Tajuddin for the same purpose.
The offences were allegedly committed at several locations in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, including at the parking area of the official residence of the Defence Minister, between September 2019 to February 2020.
All the charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat from MACC offered bail of RM500,000 with one surety, but lawyer Ariff Azami Hussein, representing Mohd Azhar, requested for a minimum bail on the grounds that his client was no longer working and had a wife and seven children, including two who are still in school, as well as his mother-in-law to support.
“He was only informed yesterday that he would be charged today and was only able to raise RM30,000. He is also not a flight risk,” said Ariff Azami.
Following which, the court allowed him bail of RM300,000 with two sureties and also to report himself once a month at the Putrajaya MACC office, as well as to surrender his passport to the court and to not intimidate witnesses in the case.
The court, however, allowed him to pay half of the bail amount today, with the remaining to be settled before Oct 22.
The court also set Nov 26 for mention.