Prosecution files appeal against Isa Samad’s acquittal — AG

KUALA LUMPUR  The prosecution has filed an appeal in the Federal Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal yesterday which acquitted former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad (picture) of all nine charges of corruption involving RM3 million over the agency’s purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak.

Attorney General Datuk Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh, when contacted, said the notice of appeal was filed today.

Yesterday, a three-judge panel led by Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, unanimously overturned the conviction and sentence of six years in prison and a fine of RM15.45 million imposed by the High Court here, on Feb 3, 2021, after allowing the appeal by the former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar.

Judge Vazeer Alam, in his judgment, said there was no reliable evidence to show that there was an understanding between Mohd Isa and his former special political officer, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, over the use of the code word “salam” to mean a request for funds.

Sitting with Judge Vazeer Alamwere Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M.Komathy Suppiah.

Mohd Isa, 74, was charged in 2018 with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Ikhwan Zaidel, who is a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAPSB), through his former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the hotel by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) for RM160 million.

The offence was committed on the 49th floor of Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11 Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.

The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, which provides a jail term of not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. — BERNAMA / pic credit: MEDIA MULIA