The political secretary of former defence minister Mohamad Sabu was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with five counts of accepting and soliciting bribes amounting to RM6.35 million to help a company secure projects by the ministry.
Mohd Azhar Che Mat Dali, 49, pleaded not guilty to all five charges which were read out to him before judge Azura Alwi.
In one of the charges, Azhar was alleged to have solicited RM5 million from FEHM Entity Sdn Bhd managing director Elias Jemadi Tajudin as gratification to help the company be selected as a strategic partner and contractor for the maintenance of the Prism Systems Intelligence Equipment, Directorate of Information Warfare, Defence Intelligence Staff Division of the defence ministry.
He was charged with committing the offence at a hotel in Jalan Ampang, Kampung Baru on July 22, 2019.
In the four other charges, he was accused of accepting RM1.35 million from Elias Jemadi through a director of Syarikat Ikaira Resources, Zainudin Abdul Majid, and Aqsa Solutions Sdn Bhd director Ahmad Hisham Mohd Tajuddin for the same purpose.
The offences were allegedly committed at several locations in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, including the parking area of the official residence of the defence minister, between September 2019 and February 2020.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat, from MACC, offered bail of RM500,000 with one surety, but lawyer Ariff Azami Hussein, representing Azhar, requested minimal bail on grounds that his client was no longer working and had a wife and seven children, including two who are still in school, as well as his mother-in-law to support.
“He was only informed yesterday that he would be charged today and was only able to raise RM30,000. He is also not a flight risk,” said Ariff.
The court then allowed him bail of RM300,000 with two sureties and told him to report once a month at the Putrajaya MACC office, as well as to surrender his passport to the court and refrain from intimidating witnesses in the case.
The court allowed him to pay half of the bail amount today, with the remaining to be settled before Oct 22.
The court also set Nov 26 for mention.