Crime & Courts

Bung, wife fail in bid to challenge court's decision for duo to enter defence

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad have failed to review the Sessions Court's decision to order them to enter their defence on the RM2.8 million corruption charges.

This was after High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid allowed the prosecution's preliminary objection against the couple's application today.

Azhar in his ruling said after deliberating both parties' submissions, the court decided to accept the respondent's (prosecution) arguments.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Law Chin How appeared for the prosecution while Bung Moktar and Zizie were represented by counsels M. Athimulan and Datuk K. Kumaraendran, respectively.

The prosecution in their submissions said the review application should not be filed by way of motion as it takes away the discretionary power of the courts.

However, Athimulan argued that there were three options of coming to a revision, making their application valid.

The couple were scheduled to enter their defence for accepting RM2.8 million through corrupt means as ordered by Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob on Sept 2.

However, on Sept 23, their case had been stayed pending the disposal of their application to review a lower court order requiring the duo to answer the charges brought against them.

They filed the application on the grounds of correcting Rozina's order against them.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar, pleaded not guilty to three charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM2.8 million to get approval for Felcra Bhd to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trust funds.

According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, who was then the non-executive Felcra chairman, had accepted bribes of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual's investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette.

For the second charge, he was accused of accepting bribes of RM262,500 in cash from Madhi for a similar purpose.

Bung Moktar, 64, was also accused of accepting bribe of RM337,500 in cash from Public Mutual's investment agent Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar on June 19, 2015.

He was accused of committing the first offence at the Public Bank branch in Taman Melawati on June 12, 2015.

The second and third offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16pm and 12.28pm, respectively, 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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