Crime & Courts

A-GC outlines 7 key arguments against Bung Moktar and wife's acquittal

PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-General's Chambers has outlined seven key arguments challenging the High Court's decision to acquit and discharge Datuk Seri Bung Moktar and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abd Samad from corruption charges involving RM2.8 million.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Low Chin How, in his petition of appeal, said that the High Court judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid committed errors in exercising the power of review to clear the couple after the trial Sessions Court judge had ruled a prima facie case.

He argued that the trial judge had given undue weight to the evidence presented by the appellant (prosecution) during the prosecution case and failed to fully consider the testimonies of key witnesses, Public Mutual investment agents Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar and Madhi Abdul Hamid.

"The judge also made a mistake by failing to consider that no miscarriage of justice occurred to the respondents (Bung Moktar and Zizie) as prima facie is not a conclusive decision for the alleged offence against them.

"The judge also made an error in terms of law and facts when reevaluating the testimonies of Norhaili and Madhi in exercising the power of review under Section 325 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 35 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964," he said.

Low said the court also erred when relying solely on the oral prima facie decision made by the Sessions Court without evaluating the complete written judgment and overlooking the admissibility of partial hostile evidence given by Norhaili and Madhi.

"The judge failed to consider the admissibility of partial hostile evidence given by the duo (Norhaili and Madhi)."

On Sept 7, 2023, High Court judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid acquitted and discharged the couple after allowing their applications for a revision against the Sessions Court's decision ordering them to enter their defence.

He had said the court found that there was no evidence that two witnesses — Norhaili and Madhi — had given money to Bung Moktar through his wife.

The Sessions Court, on Sept 2, 2022, had ordered the couple to enter their defence after deeming that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case against them.

On Dec 9, 2022, the same High Court dismissed the couple's application for revision of the Sessions Court's decision, prompting them to appeal to the Appellate Court.

On July 7, last year, the Court of Appeal allowed the couple's appeal and ordered the High Court to re-hear the merits of the couple's appeal.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar was charged with two counts of accepting bribes of RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra approval to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

He was alleged to have accepted bribes from Public Mutual Bhd's investment agent Madhi through Zizie Izette at Public Bank's Taman Melawati Branch here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

Bung Moktar was also charged with receiving RM337,500 in cash from Unit Amanah consultant Norhaili, under the name of Zizie Izette, for the same reason and at the same place on June 19, 2015.

Zizie Izette, meanwhile, was facing three charges of abetting her husband over the matter at the same place, date and time.

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