Crime & Courts

A-GC files appeal against Isa's acquittal

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General's Chambers filed a notice of appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to acquit and discharge former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad of corruption charges over the acquisition of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak.

Attorney-General Datuk Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh said the appeal was filed today.

"Yes, we have filed," he told the 'New Straits Times'.

The final appeal will be heard at the Federal Court.

On Wednesday, the court's three-man bench, led by judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Seera, unanimously set aside the High Court's 2021's conviction.

He said the court had found that in the overall, the conviction of all nine charges against Isa were not safe.

Vazeer said the court found that there were merits in the appeal and the appellate's intervention was warranted.

Other members of the bench were judges Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M. Komathy Suppiah.

Isa, who is former Umno vice-president and Negri Sembilan menteri besar, had sought the Court of Appeal to set aside the 2021 sentence that had found him guilty of nine bribery charges amounting to RM3 million in Felda's acquisition of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites.

On Feb 3, 2021, he was sentenced to six years' jail and fined RM15.4 million, in default 18 years' jail, after he was found guilty of receiving bribes of more than RM3 million over the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites.

Then High Court judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (now Court of Appeal judge) convicted Isa of all nine charges, ruling that the defence had failed to raise any doubt in the prosecution's case against him.

Isa's notice of appeal asked the court to set aside Nazlan's decision.

On Dec 14,2018, Isa was charged with one count of CBT charge and nine counts of receiving gratification involving more than RM3 million, by approving a proposal for the purchase of a hotel in Kuching for FICSB, a Felda subsidiary.

He allegedly committed the CBT offence at Level 50, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, 11 Persiaran KLCC near here on April 29, 2014.

On June 16,2020 he was acquitted and discharged of the CBT charge.

On the corruption counts, he was charged with committing the offences at Level 49, Menara Felda, between July 21, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.

He pleaded not guilty and his wife posted RM1.5 million bail following his conviction, pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

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