Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was convicted of nine charges of corruption on Wednesday (Feb 3) and sentenced to 6 years’ jail and fined RM15.45 million for offences committed between July 2014 and December 2015 while he was chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). As Chairman of FELDA he helped in the approval of purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites in Kuching, Sarawak by FELDA for RM160 million about seven years ago in return for a bribe of MR 3 million.

He was found guilty of nine counts of graft and sentenced to serve six years jail for each of the nine counts, with jail term to run concurrently. Therefore Isa will be serving a total of six years in jail.

Prior to sentencing, Justice Mohd Nazlan took note of Mohd Isa’s administrative record and his political involvement as former Mentri Besar of Negeri Sembilan for two decades and also as a cabinet minister.

Judge granted Isa a stay of execution pending an appeal but ordered for his bail to be increased from RM800,000 to RM1.5million. He was also ordered to report to the nearest police station once a month until the conclusion of his appeal. Judge noted in his verdict that the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt, while the defense’s arguments were inconsistent and appeared to be an afterthought,

Justice Nazlan, who convicted former prime minister Najib Razak of corruption last July, was transferred to the commercial court last month. However, the judge will continue to preside over other high-profile cases around 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including another CBT case involving Najib. So, there appears to be no political interference in the transfer of Justice Mohd Nazlan. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin promised not to interfere with court cases.

Source: The Straits Times and Channel News Asia.