Witness: JV Evolution asked to return RM9m as political funds


THE Kuala Lumpur (KL) High Court was told on Tuesday that JV Evolution Sdn Bhd (JVESB), the property agent in the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites (MPHS) should have received a RM10 million commission, but was instead required to return RM9 million for political funds in Sarawak.

JVESB director Azizi Abd Wahab, 53, said his company only received RM1 million in commission on the grounds that there was not much involvement in the sale of the hotel, and the RM9 million was returned to former Gagasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAPSB) board member, Ikhwan Zaidel.

“Of the RM9 million (political funds), Ikhwan only received RM6.75 million after taking into account a corporate tax deduction of 25%.

“Around April 2014, Mazeed Abd Wahab (a business partner) and I met Ikhwan at his home in Sunway Opal Condominium, Petaling Jaya, and he informed that the discussion with Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) on the MPHS sale had been very positive,” he said.

He said this when reading his witness statement on the 11th day of former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s trial for criminal breach of trust and corruption involving more than RM3 million in the purchase of MPHS worth RM160 million.

In an earlier statement, Ikhwan, former GAPSB director, was the individual responsible for paying RM3 million to Mohd Isa through the latter’s special officer, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip.

The 17th prosecution witness said the RM1 million commission payment was credited to JVESB’s current account on July 10, 2014, while a second payment of RM2,695,433 was credited on Oct 16, 2014.

“The third payment of RM6,304,567 was paid via fund transfer into JVESB account,” he said.

Earlier, Azizi said GAPSB appointed his company as MPHS property agent after Ikhwan offered the hotel sale to Felda.

“Ikhwan and I met Muhammad Zahid at his office at Felda Tower. Ikhwan informed Muhammad Zahid of his intention to make the sale offer through letters and other documents.

After the meeting, Ikhwan informed of my appointment as MPHS property agent and this matter would be brought up to the GAPSB board for approval,” he said, adding that JVESB was established on Oct 11, 2013.

Earlier, Ikhwan who was the 16th witness, said he did not record anything about giving political donations amounting to RM3 million to Mohd Isa in Sarawak in relation to the MPHS purchase.

Ikhwan said the funds were handed over through Muhammad Zahid during nine meetings at several locations.

Ikhwan added that he did not verify the matter with Mohd Isa because he was confident that Muhammad Zahid had greater access to Mohd Isa following his appointment as special officer.

“Muhammad Zahid himself informed me that the money would be handed over to Mohd Isa. So, I did not confirm this with Mohd Isa as I trusted Muhammad Zahid,” he said when cross-examined by lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin representing Mohd Isa.

Mohd Isa (picture), 70, is facing one count of criminal breach of trust and nine counts of receiving graft involving more than RM3 million in connection with a hotel purchase by the Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd in Kuching, Sarawak.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Felda Tower, Platinum Park, No 11, Persiaran KLCC in KL, between April 29, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.

The trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continued yesterday. — Bernama