Former aide never brought paper bag into Isa Samad’s office, court told

Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex August 17, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex August 17, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― The High Court was today told that Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, the then special political officer to Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad never brought a paper bag or other bag into the office of the former Felda chairman.

Mohd Isa’s former secretary, Zuraida Ariffin @ Shaari, 49, said as far as she remembered, Muhammad Zahid would enter his employer’s room without carrying anything.

“Sometimes he would hold a paper or a thin envelope when he met Tan Sri Isa.

“If that happened, I would definitely be able to remember it, (but) it never happened,” she said when reading out her witness statement on the second day of Mohd Isa’s defence trial, involving nine corruption charges.

During the previous trial, Muhammad Zahid, who was the 21st prosecution witness, told the court that he handed the money amounting to RM3 million through nine meetings with Mohd Isa at his office at Level 49 of Menara Felda, with the money place in a paper bag and black bag.

Zuraida said every individual who wanted to meet Mohd Isa had to pass through her because her desk was facing the accused’s room and only she and the auxiliary policemen knew the access code to enter his room.

“I would open the door to his room because did not remember the access code…for his special officers, they can go in and out to meet and deal with Tan Sri Isa without asking permission from me.

“However, when Tan Sri Isa was not in the office, if anyone, whether his special officer or other individuals, wanted to enter the office, they needed to meet me first before they can enter it,” she said.

She added that every time Mohd Isa left the office, he never brought or held any items because his belongings would be brought by his special officer, Kamar Bashah Shariff.

“The same thing happened every time Tan Sri Isa arrived at his office. All items belonging to Tan Sri Isa will be brought and taken care of by Mr Kamar…as far as I can remember, I have never seen Mr Kamar brought any paper bag or large bag out of Tan Sri Isa’s office,” she said.

The witness said she would usually enter Mohd Isa’s office after her employer left his office.

“I will tidy up his desk and after that, I will lock his room again…I have never seen a paper bag left in Tan Sri Isa’s room,” she said.

Zuraida added that she would only take leave when Mohd Isa was not in the office or when he was abroad.

Mohd Isa is facing nine counts of dishonestly receiving gratification for himself, in cash totalling RM3,090,000 from Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd board member, Ikhwan Zaidel through Muhammad Zahid as gratification for helping to approve the purchase of a hotel by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) for RM160 million.

All the offences were allegedly committed at Level 49, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, No. 11, Persiaran KLCC near here between July 21, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.

Each charge, framed under Section 16a(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)  Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law, provides 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.

The hearing is before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. ― Bernama


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