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Khir Toyo trial: Prosecution closes case

 | June 22, 2011

Judge fixes July 13 for submissions from both sides.

SHAH ALAM: Prosecutors in Dr Mohd Khir Toyo’s corruption trial closed their case today after 10 days of hearing.

Judge Mohtarudin Baki fixed July 13 for the prosecution and defence to argue on whether there is a prima facie case against the former Selangor menteri besar.

The prosecution presented its case with 25 witnesses, including property valuers, bankers, lawyers and state government employees.

The last prosecution witness to testify was investigating officer Chang Ching of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Lead defence lawyer M Athimulan questioned Chang today with regard to the MACC’s interrogation of Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Hayroni, from whom Khir had bought his allegedly underpriced mansion.

Shamsuddin was initially charged together with Khir, but was subsequently discharged. He turned into a witness for the prosecution and the MACC recorded a new statement from him that differed from an earlier statement. He told the court that Khir had pressured him to lie in the earlier statement.

Chang said today that MACC recorded 13 statements from Shamsuddin – eight before he was charged, one after he was arrested and four after he was charged.

Athimulan: As a senior investigating officer, do you agree that you must inform a witness to tell the truth when taking his statement? Did you do it?

Chang: Yes, I did tell him that he must speak the truth and there are consequences for not telling the truth.

Chang also said the MACC first thought of Shamsuddin as a witness but afterwards regarded him as a suspect.

Reduced price

During the examination-in-chief by Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, Chang said his superior, deputy commissioner Saiful Ezra Ariffin, lodged a MACC report against Khir on July 24, 2009 and that it was Saiful who ordered him to investigate Khir’s acquisition of his mansion.

Earlier during the trial, Saiful testified that his report was based on an accusation that Khir had bought the property at a reduced price.

Chang said he interviewed 103 witnesses and seized documents from several agencies to build his case against Khir, who at first was the sole suspect.

Earlier this morning, an official of Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) confirmed that the state’s investment arm had awarded a residential development project to Bidara Lumayan Sdn Bhd in 2003.

PNSB secretary Mohamad Nizam Yaacob said Bidara Lumayan, a company belonging to Shamsuddin, beat two other companies in a tender process and got the contract to develop a 6.5 hectare housing area in Sungai Long.

He identified the signature of Khir, who was then PNSB chairman, in an agreement between PNSB and Bidara dated April 2, 2003. Nizam also testified that Khir was elected by shareholders to chair PNSB from 2001 to 2008.

He also testified that a PNSB decision on any project was made by majority vote among the directors.

Earlier, the court also heard from Selangor government human resource officer Zammidi Mohd Asri, who affirmed that a menteri besar was a government officer paid by the state government. The court also heard from two bankers who confirmed several documents relating to loans for buying the mansion.

The MACC arrested Khir, 46, last Dec 6 and charged him and Shamsuddin, 55, at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

Khir was charged with obtaining – for himself and his wife Zahrah Kechik, 46 – two plots of land and a bungalow in Shah Alam in 2007 for RM3.5 million from Ditamas when in fact the lots were bought by Ditamas in 2004 for RM6.5 million.

The charge comes under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which states that an offence is committed when a public servant obtains something at a highly reduced price from someone with whom he has dealings in his official capacity. The offence carries a maximum two years’ jail term, a fine, or both.

Shamsuddin was charged with abetting Khir in the offence. However, on June 6, the prosecution dropped its case against him and the court acquitted and discharged him.


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