KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed the prosecution’s application to transfer the corruption cases of Kinabatangan Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette A Samad to the High Court.
The duo facing corruption charges involving RM2.8 million. The sum was allegedly for obtaining of approval for Felcra Berhad to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual Berhad Unit Trust.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the decision after hearing the prosecution’s application to transfer the two cases from the Sessions Court to the High Court.
In his judgment, Nazlan said the charges framed against the two accused (the couple) in relation to offences under Section 17(a) and 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 did not appear to involve any novelty in points of law which may arise in cases for such offences.
“Further, the novelty of a point of law does not necessarily render such point of law to be of unusual difficulty.
“In fact, the Sessions Courts in Kuala Lumpur have three specialised courts, referred to as Special Corruption Courts to deal with corruption cases.
“It is absolutely essential that confidence in the integrity of the administration of the criminal justice system be maintained,”the judge said.
He said that the transfer should not be ordered if they did not promote judicial efficiency and cause delays in the commencement of trial since this would not meet the ends of justice.
“For among others the foregoing broad reasons, I dismiss the application to transfer the two cases to the High Court,”he said.
Prior to that, MACC deputy public prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai had said that the written submissions to transfer the case was filed on Aug 7 pursuant to Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Meanwhile, lawyer Datuk K Kumaraendran who represented Bung Moktar, 60, whose real name is Moktar Radin and Zizie Izette ,41, said his clients had no objections for their cases to be heard at the High Court.
Following the development, Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob fixed Sept 20 for case management of their cases.
Allan Suman told the media that the prosecution asked for a joint trial and the defence did not object.
He added that the document bundle relating to the cases had been handed over to the defence under Section 51A of the CP and that counsel Kumaraendran had acknowledged receipt.
The judge (Rozina) allowed the application and instructed both parties to furnish witness’ list on Sept 20 at the next case management.
On May 3, Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court to three counts of receiving bribes totalling RM2.8 million for obtaining approval for Felcra Berhad to make a RM150 million investment in unit trust products of Public Mutual Berhad.
According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, then Felcra’s non-executive chairman, was accused of taking a bribe of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent, Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through the wife of the accused, Datin Seri Zizie Izette A. Samad.
He was accused of committing the act as a reward for obtaining approval from the Minister of Finance II for Felcra to make a RM150 million investment in Public Mutual unit trust products.
The offence was allegedly committed at Public Bank Berhad, Taman Melawati Branch, No. 262-265, Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati here, between 12.30pm and 5pm, on June 12, 2015. For the second charge, Bung Moktar was accused of taking for himself a bribe of RM262,500 in cash from the same individual (Madhi) through an account of the bank’s investment product Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund (PITGF) numbered 044797816 and registered under the name of Zizie Izette for the same purpose.
Bung Moktar was also accused of taking for himself a bribe of RM337,500 from Public Mutual’s investment agent, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 42, through a Public Ittikal Sequel Fund (PITSEQ) account numbered 044797824 registered under the name of Zizie Izette for the same purpose.
Both offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16pm and 12.28pm, on June 19, 2015. The charges are framed under Subsection 17(a) of the MACC Act and punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act which provides for imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher, if convicted.
Zizie Izette, a former actress, pleaded not guilty to three counts of abetting her husband on the same offences, at the same places, dates and times under Section 28(1)(c) of the MACC Act and punishable under subsection 24(1) which provides for imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher, if convicted. — Bernama