Prosecution applies to cross-examine key witness in Bung Moktar’s trial

by BERNAMA

THE prosecution in the corruption trial of Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (picture) and his wife, Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad, concerning Public Mutual Bhd’s unit trust investment has applied to cross-examine a key witness who has been considered a hostile witness for giving contradictory statements in the case.

Deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How said the application to cross-examine unit trust consultant Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 45, who is the 25th prosecution witness, was made in accordance with Section 154 of the Evidence Act 1950.

“There is a material discrepancy between the witness’ testimony in court and the recording of the conversation taken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission during the investigation,” he said at the trial of the case before Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob yesterday.

Law told the court that the prosecution had handed over the recording of the witness’ conversation to the defence.

Lawyers Ridha Abdah Subri and Datuk K Kumaraendran, representing Bung Moktar and Zizie Izette, respectively, confirmed having received the recording last Feb 11, but objected to the prosecution’s application on grounds that it was not made according to procedures.

Judge Rozina set Feb 24 to hear the application and advised Norhaili not to communicate or discuss with any party, including the defence team, the accused and the investigating officer, on the case.

Earlier, during examination-in-chief by the prosecution, Norhaili maintained her testimony made last Jan 27 that Zizie Izette was eligible to receive an introduction fee of RM2.8 million as the actress introduced her husband to obtain Felcra Bhd’s approval to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

She said the introduction fee for Zizie Izette was part of her marketing strategy as the actress had also introduced a senior Felcra officer to make the investment.

Norhaili will continue her testimony on Feb 14. Counsel Kumaraendran represented Zizie Izette and M Athimulan acted on behalf of Bung Moktar.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty to two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra’s approval to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

Bung Moktar, 64, who was the non-executive chairman of Felcra at the time, was accused of accepting bribes from Public Mutual investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at Public Bank Bhd’s Taman Melawati branch, Selangor, between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty to accepting a RM335,500 cash bribe from Norhaili through Zizie Izette for the same reason and at the same place on June 19, 2015.

Zizie Izette, 44, pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband in the matter at the same place, date and time.