Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Courthouse on January 2, 2020. The trial court judge Rozina Ayob postponed the trial to January 11 next year and asked the defense to provide a full schedule for the Sabah DUN session, making it easier for the court to reschedule other dates for the trial. – Picture by Firdaus Latif
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 21 – Judge of the trial court, Rozina Ayob, who led the corruption case with Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Ezette A. Samad, said she was disappointed that she had to vacate the scheduled dates continue hearing the case this week as the Kinabatangan MP, the deputy prime minister of Sabah, must 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 (defense attorney) will know much sooner why the letter was sent at the last minute on December 17th.
“Because we (you know) why waste judgment time. If indeed the case can’t go any further, I can at least listen to another case to hear it. Now you’ve wasted my whole week, “she said.
The court had decided today that the case will continue to be heard so the defense can interrogate the ninth prosecutor’s witness, special officer of former Felcra chairman Nazrul Aswad.
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 was unable to appear in court today.
Zizie Ezette and another Bung Moktar lawyer, Ridha Abdah Subri, were on trial today.
Kumaraendran told the court that Bung Moktar, who is also the Lamag MP, was informed at the last minute that he had to answer a few questions during the State Assembly session.
Roziana 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 in the last hour. 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 continue in his absence (Bung Moktar) 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 (without the accused being present), but for the sake of justice and fairness of this matter, I allow the dates to be cleared and the court to postpone the trial to another date, added her.
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 January 11 next year and asked the defense to provide a full timetable for the dates of the Sabah DUN session to make it easier for the court to reschedule other dates for the trial.
“Please confirm the information I have requested by January 11th (defense), as I do not want to receive a letter stating that he had to attend the meeting. It won’t look good because both (court case and DUN) are of public interest and both are important to the people, ”she added.
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 RM 150 million investment in Public Mutual Receive unit trusts.
Bung Moktar, who was Felcra’s non-executive chairman at the time, was accused of accepting bribes from Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through his wife Zizie Ezette at the Taman Melawati Public Bank branch, Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati, between 12.30pm and 5 p.m. on June 12, 2015.
For the same reason, he pleaded not guilty of accepting bribes of RM 335,500 from another Public Mutual investment agency, Norlaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 42, under the name of 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 to commit the alleged crimes in the same place, on the same date and at the same time. – Bernama