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Appeals court sends back Bung Moktar, wife's revision bid to High Court for hearing of merits

It says the High Court should not have rejected the application based on technical grounds.

3 minute read
Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin (second left) with his wife Zizie Izette Abdul Samad at the Kuala Lumpur court complex on April 25. Photo: Bernama
Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin (second left) with his wife Zizie Izette Abdul Samad at the Kuala Lumpur court complex on April 25. Photo: Bernama

The Court of Appeal today remitted back the revision applications filed by Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin and his wife, Zizie Izette Abdul Samad to the High Court for the merits of the applications to be heard.

The couple filed the revision applications to challenge the Sessions Court decision ordering them to enter their defence on three corruption charges last year.

The appellate court's three-member bench comprising Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Azman Abdullah and Azmi Ariffin ordered the couple's revision applications to be sent back to the High Court for it (the High Court) to consider the merits of their applications.

Justice Hadhariah, who chaired the bench, said when a revision application is filed, it is the duty of the High Court to consider the merits of the application, irrespective of whatever mode the revision application was filed.

She said in Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette's case, the High Court did not do so (hear the merits of the revision applications) when the court dismissed the couple's revision applications based on the grounds that they had used the wrong mode to file the revision.

Justice Hadhariah said there was no specific mode mentioned in the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 on how a revision can be done.

She said the High Court judge, on his own motion, can call up a case for revision after reading the newspaper or calling for the files or at the instance of any party or person interested at any stage of the proceeding.

"In this case, the (revision) applications were made by the counsel of the accused (Bung Moktar and Zizie Izette at the stage of prima facie case," she said. 

She then fixed July 14 for case management in the High Court.

On Dec 9, last year, High Court judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid dismissed their revision applications without hearing the merits of the applications.

Azhar rejected the revision applications after accepting the prosecution's preliminary objection that the revision applications were improper before the court as they had used the wrong method to file the applications. 

The Sessions Court, on Sept 2, last year, ordered Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette to enter their defence on the corruption charges amounting to RM2.8 million involving an RM150 million investment in Public Mutual Berhad unit trust. 

This prompted them to file revision applications in the High Court. Following the High Court's dismissal of their revision applications, they filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In today's proceedings, the court heard a preliminary objection by the prosecution to Bung Moktar and Zizie Izette's appeal, saying that the High Court's decision is not appealable.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar was charged with two charges of accepting bribes of RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain Felcra approval to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trusts.

He is alleged to have accepted the bribes from Public Mutual Berhad's investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at Public Bank Taman Melawati Branch in Putrajaya between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

Bung Moktar was also charged with receiving RM337,500 in cash from Unit Amanah consultant, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, under the name of Zizie Izette for the same reason and place on June 19, 2015.

Zizie Izette, meanwhile, is facing three charges of abetting her husband over the matter at the same place, date and time.

Bung Moktar was represented by lawyer M M Athimulan while lawyer K Kumaraendran acted for Zizie Izette. Deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How appeared for the prosecution.