KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 23, 2019: The corruption trial involving former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd. Isa Abdul Samad will start on October 7 as fixed earlier after a high court today dismissed the prosecution’s application to postpone it since the lead prosecutor is occupied with the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Berhad trial.
The request was rejected after judge Mohd. Nazlan Mohd. Ghazali disagreed with the reason offered by the prosecution which was described as truly unnecessary and unjustified.
“While the court does not want to question his appointment, it is known that Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram (lead prosecutor) is occupied in the (1MDB) trial which will continue until at least November.
“Now less than one month before the start of the scheduled trial, the prosecution informs this court that Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram has been appointed to lead the prosecution in this case.
“I understand there are hundreds of DPPs in this country and in any event there is still enough time from today until October 7 to prepare for the case, which I emphasise the accused was first charged in December last year,” remarked Nazlan.
On last December 14, Isa pleaded not guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust by approving in April 2014 a proposal to buy Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching for RM160 million without the approval of the Felda board.
He was also charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving cash gratification of RM3,090,000 for himself from Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn. Bhd., through one Muhammad Zahid Md. Arip, as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of the property. — Bernama