Court throws out MACC’s power abuse report in Bung’s graft trial

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\KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution’s case in the corruption trial of former Felcra chairman Bung Moktar Radin and his wife, Zizie Izette Abdul Samad, appeared to have suffered a setback after the sessions court ruled that a report made to begin the investigation was inadmissible.

Trial judge Rozina Ayob said this is because the report by the investigating officer could not be considered as a first information report and did not comply with a provision in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

The effect of this ruling is that the court will not take into consideration the report as evidence.

Investigating officer Haris Ibrahim told the court last month that on June 9, 2016, his superior, Zainuddin Hussein, from MACC’s special investigations unit in Putrajaya, called him to put in writing a complaint pertaining to the case.

It was an alleged abuse of power by Felcra officers in relation to their decision to invest in a public mutual fund.

Lawyers M Athimulan and K Kumaraendran, appearing for Bung and Zizie, respectively, raised an objection when the prosecution attempted to introduce the information in the report as it could prejudice both the accused.

Kumaraendran said the information that was to be entered through Haris was hearsay evidence and, therefore, inadmissible.

Athimulan said the information was inadmissible as it must be made by the complainant and that the defence was unaware of who the complainant was in the case of Bung and his wife.

Deputy public prosecutor Sophian Zakaria submitted that the MACC Act was a special legislation that allowed information to be obtained from whistleblowers.

Bung, 64, who is also the Kinabatangan MP and Sabah deputy chief minister, is facing two charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra’s approval to invest in the Public Mutual unit trust fund.

As the non-executive chairman of Felcra at the time, he is accused of accepting the bribe through Zizie at Public Bank’s Taman Melawati branch here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty to accepting RM335,500 in cash as a bribe from unit trust consultant Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, through Zizie, for the same reason and at the same place on June 19, 2015.

Zizie, 44, pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband in the matter at the same place, date and time.

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