PETALING JAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Nov 28 to deliver its ruling on former Felda chairman Isa Samad’s appeal from conviction for corruption linked to the authority’s purchase of a hotel in Sarawak nine years ago.
The date of the verdict was confirmed to Bernama by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz.
He also said both the prosecution and defence had filed their additional submissions as directed by the court.
Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, who chaired the panel of three judges hearing the appeal, had called for the submissions to address several issues raised in the course of the appeal.
Also on the bench were Justices Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and SM Komathy Suppiah.
On Oct 16, the Court of Appeal reserved its decision in Isa’s appeal.
In 2021, a High Court had found Isa guilty of nine corruption charges involving RM3.09 million. Justice Nazlan Ghazali, now a Court of Appeal judge, had sentenced Isa to six years in prison and fined him RM15.4 million.
During the appeal hearing, Isa’s lawyer, Salehuddin Saidin told the court that no evidence had been adduced to show that Isa had received the alleged corrupt payment.
Salehuddin said the money was paid to Isa’s former aide Zahid Arip, who he described as an “interested” witness in the whole incident owing to his “instrumental role” in the sale of the hotel.
The defence counsel also said the High Court had overlooked Zahid’s testimony that Isa had not requested any payment from businessman Ikhwan Zaidel, the hotel’s former director.
Instead, he said Zahid testified that Felda’s subsidiary, Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd, had previously rejected a proposal to purchase the Merdeka Palace hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.
In his submissions, Afzainizam told the trial court that the RM3.09 million was meant for Isa after he participated in a Felda board of directors meeting to approve the purchase.
Afzainizam acknowledged, however, that Isa did not deal directly with Ikhwan in any of the transactions by which the sum was paid.
Isa is also a former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan.