PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed July 7 to hear the prosecution’s preliminary objection that the appellate court has no jurisdiction to hear an appeal by Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin and wife Zizie Izette Samad arising from their on-going corruption case.
Deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How said the court would proceed to hear the objection regardless of whether the appeal records from the High Court are ready.
“This was conveyed to the parties during a case management by deputy court registrar Khairy Haron today,” Law told FMT.
Lawyer Tey See Khoon appeared for the couple.
Law said parties were also directed to file their written submissions by June 22.
In the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Dec 9 last year, Justice Azhar Abdul Hamid allowed the prosecution’s preliminary objection to a motion filed by Bung and Zizie.
Azhar said the couple had employed the wrong mode to challenge trial judge Rozina Ayob’s ruling at the close of the prosecution’s case calling for them to enter their defence.
He said the couple should have made the request by letter to the High Court.
Bung and Zizie then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The prosecution filed its preliminary objection to their appeal in the Court of Appeal in February.
It contends that Azhar’s ruling is not appealable as it does not amount to a “decision” as defined in Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
This is because it was a ruling made in the course of a trial and did not finally dispose of their rights.
The couple were ordered to enter their defence on Sept 2 last year.
On Feb 22, Rozina allocated 13 days in June and July this year for them to enter their defence as the case has been pending since 2019.
However, a stay of proceedings granted by the High Court pending the disposal of the current appeal means that the trial cannot resume until the appeal is concluded.
Bung faces two counts of receiving bribes amounting to RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as gratification from when he was Felcra’s chairman.
He is alleged to have done so to obtain Felcra’s approval to make a RM150 million Public Mutual unit investment in June 2015.
Zizie faces three charges of abetting him in the commission of the alleged offences.