High Court freed Bung Moktar and wife Zizie Izette of all three graft charges

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today acquitted and discharged Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad of all three corruption charges.

Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid made the decision after allowing the couple’s applications for a revision against the Sessions Court’s decision ordered them to enter their defence on the corruption charges amounting to RM2.8 million involving a RM150 million investment in Public Mutual Berhad unit trust. 

Bung, 63,  looked calm while Zizie Izette, 44, cried after hearing the decision.

Judge Azhar ruled that it was a fit and proper case to exercise revisionary power under Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

“After examining the records of proceedings this court finds that there is no evidence that the 24th prosecution witness namely Public Mutual Berhad’s investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid and the 25th prosecution witness Unit Amanah consultant, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar had given money to Bung Mokhtar through his wife. 

“So the decision of the Sessions Court to call for defence is a miscarriage of justice. I hereby invoke Section 325 of the CPC to acquit and discharge both of them,” said the judge.

The prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutor Low Chin How while lawyers Datuk K. Kumaraendran and M. Athimulan acted for Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette respectively.

The Sessions Court, on Sept 2 last year, ordered Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette to enter their defence on all three corruption charges. This prompted them to file revision applications in the High Court against the Sessions Court’s ruling.

However, the High Court struck out their applications without hearing the merits of the applications after allowing the prosecution preliminary objections against the applications.

The couple subsequently filed the appeal to the Court of Appeal and on July 7 2023, they won the appeal and the court remitted back the revision applications to the High Court for the merits of the applications to be heard.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar who was then the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was charged with two charges of accepting bribes of RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra approval to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

He is alleged to have accepted the bribes from Public Mutual Berhad’s investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at Public Bank Taman Melawati Branch here between 12.30 pm and 5 pm on June 12, 2015.

Bung Moktar was also charged with receiving RM337,500 in cash from Unit Amanah consultant, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, under the name of Zizie Izette for the same reason and place on June 19, 2015, while Zizie Izette is facing three charges of abetting her husband over the matter at the same place, date and time.

Previously, Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob had fixed Sept 23, 2022, for Bung Moktar and Zizie Izette to enter their defence. 

On Sept 23, 2022, the High Court here allowed their applications to postpone the defence trial pending disposal of their revision applications.

The trial was set on July 20 2023, but it was adjourned again pending the disposal of the revision applications.

The Sessions Court had set Sept 13 for mention of the case for parties to update the court on the revision applications that had been heard today at the High Court. – BERNAMA