Prosecution appeals Isa Samad’s acquittal on CBT charge

Isa Samad is currently out on bail of RM800,000.

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution has appealed against the acquittal of former Felda chairman Isa Samad for criminal breach of trust in relation to the purchase of a hotel in Kuching six years ago.

“We had to file the notice of appeal within 14 days from the verdict date although the Court of Appeal will hear the matter after the conclusion of the High Court trial,” deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz said.

On June 16, judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered Isa to enter his defence on nine corruption charges of receiving over RM3 million in kickbacks for approving the RM160 million purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel in 2014.

Nazlan said the prosecution had proven a prima facie case for these charges under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

However, he said the prosecution had failed to establish the elements of the breach of trust charge against Isa under Section 409 of the Penal Code.

Isa, who is a former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar and ex-Umno vice-president, allegedly committed CBT by approving the purchase of the hotel without the Felda board of directors’ approval on April 29, 2014.

The offence under Section 409 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of between two and 20 years, whipping and a possible fine upon conviction.

Isa was also charged with receiving bribes from Gagasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd director Ikhwan Zaidel between July 2014 and December 2015.

He allegedly committed the offences at level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC, near here.

The charges under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 carry a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe for each charge, if found guilty.

He is currently out on bail of RM800,000.

Afzainizam said Nazlan had also fixed three days from Aug 17 for Isa to enter his defence.