KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― A former aide to Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi when the latter was still the tourism and culture minister pleaded not guilty today after he and his fiancée were charged with corruption involving RM3.1 million.
Mohd Saifullah Mohd Minggu @ Mohd Hisham and Nurfadziana Abdul Kadir both claimed trial after their charges were read out before Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad.
Mohd Saifullah was charged with 18 counts of soliciting and receiving gratification from Ronald Seto Kong Seng, the owner of Inter Bev Network Sdn Bhd, by allegedly promising to aid the latter to win several tenders from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Mohd Saifullah allegedly promised to help Seto obtain a brand and creative services tender for Tourism Malaysia Campaign, a tender for the acquisition of advertisements space for the North and East Asia markets for Tourism Malaysia, and a tender of RFP-Global advertising Agency and Promotion for Tourism Malaysia.
He allegedly committed the offence in several locations including the ministry’s office in Putrajaya, from January to July 2019.
Nurfadziana was charged with abetting him in receiving RM232,000 as gratification from Seto on April 1, 2019.
The charges were made under Section 16(a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 for soliciting or receiving gratification.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh sought to prevent bail for Mohd Saifullah on grounds that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer, through an affidavit, stated that it had been difficult to track him down.
Lawyer Md Yunus Shariff, who represented both the accused, then rebutted by saying his client had surrendered himself once he knew the MACC was seeking him.
He also asked for a low bail sum, saying Mohd Saifullah was unemployed and would cooperate fully.
Azman then set bail of RM200,000 with one surety for Mohd Saifullah, ordered him to surrender his passport, and to report monthly to the MACC for the duration of his trial.
He also set bail of RM100,000 for Nurfadziana with the same conditions.
The court also set September 23 for case mention for both individuals.