Isa Samad’s appeal hearing postponed to Oct 16

PUTRAJAYA – The appeal hearing of former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s (picture) against the conviction and sentence on bribery charges related to the purchase of a hotel in Sarawak has been postponed again following his admission to a private hospital in Seremban for heart problems. 

The three-panel Court of Appeal judges, Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk Azmi Ariffin allowed the adjournment after Mohd Isa’s lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin informed the court that his client was admitted to the hospital last night and he received the medical report this morning.

“Mohd Isa’s wife, who is his bailor, is also unable to appear in today’s proceedings.  She’s unable to walk due to her knee pain, for which she received treatment last night.”

“We were just informed of this matter and the family wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused,” he said.  

Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz did not object to the postponement.  

Judge Hadhariah, who set Oct 16 for the hearing of the appeal, said the court hoped Mohd Isa would recover by then.

 “We cannot do anything if it is a health problem,”   she added.

The hearing was set for March 7 previously but was postponed to June 26 following the request by Mohd Isa’s counsel for more time to enter their defence. 

On Feb 3, 2021, the High Court convicted the 73-year-old Mohd Isa on nine bribery charges amounting to RM3 million in the Felda acquisition of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak.

The offences allegedly took place on the 49th Floor of Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No 11, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015. 

High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now Court of Appeal judge) handed down a sentence of six years for each offence with a cumulative total of 54 years and a fine of RM15.45 million or 18 years imprisonment in lieu of the fine.  

The sentence was ordered to run concurrently, therefore, Mohd Isa was to serve only six years.

The court raised bail from RM800,000 to RM1.5 million and required the accused to report to the nearest police station on the 1st of every month until the appeal is settled.

Mohd Isa, who was also the former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar,  filed the notice to appeal on Feb 4, 2021. – Bernama / pic Hussein Shaharuddin