Former Felda chairman Isa Samad was today convicted of nine charges of corruption involving RM3 million over the agency’s purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali delivered the judgment at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
In his judgment, Nazlan said Isa’s defence was mere denial and that he had failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
“The court finds that the prosecution succeeded in establishing the case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused,” he said.
The prosecution team was led by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, while lawyer Salehuddin Saidin led the defence team.
Isa is the third prominent Umno politician to be convicted of corruption after former prime minister Najib Razak and former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
He was charged with nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification of RM3,090,000 in cash for himself from Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd, through his former special political officer Muhammad Zahid Md Arip for helping to approve the purchase of the hotel by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd for RM160 million.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law which provides for a jail term of not exceeding 20 years and a fine of at least five times the bribe amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.