KUALA LUMPUR: A trial court judge hearing the Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin corruption case (Picture) and his wife, Datin Seri Zizie Ezette A. Samad, expressed disappointment at having to vacate the appointments set to hear the case this week.
Judge Rozina Ayob had to postpone the dates to allow the Kinabatangan MP, a deputy prime minister of Sabah, to attend the session of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).
She reprimanded Bung Moktar’s attorneys for the delay in sending the letter to request the eviction of the dates December 21-24, saying the letter was not sent until December 17.
“I am very disappointed, I am sure that you know the Sabah DUN meeting schedule much earlier, I think 14 days before the meeting. The prosecution has reviewed the procedure for the DUN session, its requirements, etc.
“I’m sure you know much, much earlier. Why was the letter sent at the last minute on December 17th?
“Because we (you know) why waste judgment time. If the case really cannot go any further, I can at least ask other cases to be heard. Now you’ve wasted my whole week, “she said.
Yesterday the court was due to continue hearing the defense case to question the ninth prosecutor’s witness, former Felcra chairman Nazrul Aswad’s special officer.
Attorney Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who represented Zizie Ezette, said the defense took full responsibility for the delay and apologized to Rozina on behalf of Bung Moktar’s attorney M. Athimulan, who failed to appear in court yesterday.
Zizie Ezette and another Bung Moktar lawyer, Ridha Abdah Subri, were on trial.
Kumaraendran informed the court that Lamag MP Bung Moktar had been informed at the last minute that he would have to answer some questions during the State Assembly session.
Rozina said they should at least have told the court that they might not show up.
“I don’t want something like this to happen again at the last minute. Not only do I need to hear your case, there are other matters of public concern that I need to hear. Please, as a court officer, I am sure you are aware of the court’s practice, ”she said.
She told the prosecutor that she had to postpone the case.
“We cannot act in his absence as this is a criminal matter and our next witness will be a very material one.
“While there are legal provisions that allow us to proceed with the case, in the interests of justice and fairness, I allow the dates to be evacuated and the court to move to other dates,” she said.
Deputy Prosecutor Siti Noor Hafizan Zakaria told the court that prosecutors would call 17 more witnesses after the ninth prosecutor’s witness finished testifying.
Rozina then postponed the trial to Jan. 11 and asked the defense to provide a full timetable for the Sabah State Assembly session to make it easier for the court to reschedule other dates for the trial.
“Please confirm the dates I have requested by January 11, as I do not want to receive a letter stating that he had to attend the meeting. It won’t look good because both are of public interest and both are important to people, ”she said.
On May 3 last year, 60-year-old Bung Moktar pleaded not guilty of accepting bribes of RM 2.2 million and RM 262,500 in order to obtain Felcra’s approval for an investment of RM 150 million in trusts from Public Mutual Unit.
Bung Moktar, who was Felcra’s non-executive chairman at the time, is charged with taking bribes from Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through Zizie Ezette at the Taman Melawati Public Bank branch, Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati, between 12:30 p.m. 5 p.m. on June 12, 2015.
For the same reason, he pleaded not guilty of accepting a RM 335,500 bribe from another Public Mutual investment agency, Norlaili Ahmad Mokhtar, under the name Zizie Izette.
The crime was allegedly committed on June 19, 2015 in the same location.
Zizie Ezette pleaded not guilty on three counts of assisting her husband in the commission of the alleged crimes. – Bernama