Bung Moktar, wife get stay to enter defence

The stay is pending the hearing of the couple’s disposal of their applications to review a lower court order

THE High Court have allowed the applications by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (picture, left) and his wife, Datin Seri Zizie Izette A Samad, to postpone the hearing of their corruption case, involving RM2.8 million, in connection with Public Mutual Bhd unit trust investments.

The couple applied to postpone the hearing pending disposal of their applications to review a lower court order which ordered them to enter their defence on the charges.

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the applications after lawyers M Athimulan and Datuk K Kumaraendran, representing the couple, informed the court that the defence had filed a separate notice of motion for a review and to set aside the decision made by the Sessions Court last Sept 2.

“Zizie Izette filed an application for a review of the (Sept 2) decision last Monday and (the matter) is set for mention today before Judge Collin, while Bung Moktar filed a similar application and it is set for mention before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abd Hamid next Monday (Sept 26).

“However, we will make an official application to consolidate both review applications for hearing before only one judge,” said Athimulan.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Faridz Gohim Abdullah did not object to the applications for the stay, but said the prosecution would object to the applications to consolidate the review applications.

Bung Moktar and Zizie Izette filed separate applications for review of the Sessions Court’s decision last Monday.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob set Sept 26 for mention of the couple’s corruption case for parties concerned to inform the court about the progress of the review applications.

On Sept 2, she ordered the couple to enter their defence on the corruption charges after finding that the prosecution had made a prima facie case against them.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to three charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.8 million to obtain approval for Felcra Bhd to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, who was then the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was accused of accepting bribes of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at Public Bank’s Taman Melawati branch here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

For the second charge, Bung Moktar is accused of accepting a bribe of RM262,500 in cash from Madhi through the Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund’s account number 044797816 registered in the name of Zizie Izette, for a similar purpose.

Bung Moktar is also accused of accepting a bribe of RM337,500 in cash from Public Mutual’s investment agent Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar through the Public Ittikal Sequel Fund’s account number 044797824 registered in the name of Zizie Izette.

The latter two offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16pm and 12.28pm, on June 19, 2015.

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