KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — All eyes will be on the High Court here today which is scheduled to deliver the verdict on former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad on nine corruption charges involving RM3 million over the agency’s purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is expected to deliver his judgment at 9.30 am on Mohd Isa, 71, who is also former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar.
Mohd 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 (GAPSB), through his former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the hotel by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) for RM160 million.
All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC near here between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, which provides a jail term of not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
The prosecution is led by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, while lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin is leading the defence team.
Twenty reporters, one from each selected media organisation, were given passes to follow the proceedings via a video link in a room.
According to the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the COVID-19 pandemic issued by the Registry Office of The Federal Court, media coverage in an open court proceedings is not allowed, except for cases involving public interest, where the court may consider providing room for live broadcast or providing media coverage facilities through zoom application.