KUALA LUMPUR: The corruption trial of Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar and his celebrity wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette A Samad has been vacated for the rest of March following the nationwide restricted movement order which begins tomorrow.
The government yesterday announced the 14-day movement control order to begin March 18 until 31 to curb the Covid-19 infection in the country.
Earlier, in light of the announcement, the Kinabatangan Member of Parliament applied for this week's proceedings to be adjourned.
This was to allow him to fly to Sabah to serve his responsibilities at his constituency.
His lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran said it was important for Bung to go back to Sabah before the partial shutdown starts.
Kumaraendran said another unique ground for the adjournment application was that he and other members in the defence team needed to go back to their office in Penang to sort out administrative matters.
“We have to go back to our office by today to sort out a few things as the office will be on shut down from tomorrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob said the court has yet to receive directions from the Chief Registrar’s office following the restricted movement order.
“We are not sure if the court will be closed tomorrow,” she said before she stood down the matter and called prosecutors and counsel to her chambers.
After the chamber matter, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamri said the judge allowed the adjournment.
He said the judge had also vacated all the trial dates that have been fixed in March and set new trial dates for the case.
The new dates are on April 10, 17, 28 and 29, from May 12 to 15 and 21, July 10, 20, 27 to 29, from Aug 10 to 12, from Aug 24 to 27, and from Sept 1 to 3.
Bung was charged with three counts of corruption amounting to RM2.8 million to secure a RM150 million investment for Felcra Bhd with Public Mutual Bhd through two unit trust funds accounts belonging to his wife in 2015.
His wife actress Zizie Izette was charged with abetting him.
Today, the KL courthouse had stepped up efforts to thwart the Covid-19 threat by doing temperature screenings and provide hand sanitisers for staff and visitors entering the building.
It was understood that all entry points are closed off and everyone, including lawyers and prosecutors, have to go through the main entrance.
Blue stickers are given to those whose body temperature is below 37 degrees Celsius while those who are above 37 degrees Celsius were advised to stay outside the building.