KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 9): The High Court has dismissed applications by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Datin Seri Zizie Izette A Samad to challenge a Sessions Court's decision to order the duo to enter their defence in a graft trial.
In delivering his brief decision on Friday (Dec 9), judicial commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid said that he agrees with the prosecution, and that their preliminary objection was allowed.
"The preliminary objection is allowed, and the applications are dismissed," he said.
Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob ruled on Sept 2 that the prosecution in the couple's case had established a prima facie case in the graft charges against the duo, and ordered them to enter their defence.
The couple then filed their applications under Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code for revision of the Sessions Court decision in a corruption case involving RM2.8 million related to a Felcra Bhd investment.
The applications were made on the ground of the "correctness of the decision".
The prosecution had raised a preliminary objection to the couple's application for criminal revision on the grounds that the application mode — by way of a motion instead of a letter — was defective.
Deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How argued that the duo ought to have sent a letter to the judicial commissioner for him to inquire if the Sessions Court judge had erred in her judgement.
However, counsel M Athimulan representing Bung Moktar countered that both application modes — a motion and a letter for revision of decisions — had been entertained as proper modes by the courts.
Zizie was represented by Datuk K Kumaraendran.
Later on Friday, the lawyer confirmed with the media that they will be appealing against the decision.
According to the first charge, Bung Moktar, who was then the non-executive chairman of Felcra, had accepted bribes of RM2.2 million in cash from Public Mutual investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie.
For the second charge, Bung Moktar is accused of accepting bribes of RM262,500 in cash from Madhi for a similar purpose.
He is also accused of accepting a bribe of RM337,500 in cash from Public Mutual investment agent Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar.
All the offences were allegedly committed in June 2015. Meanwhile, Zizie faces three abetment charges.
The duo's trial is slated to resume on Jan 3.
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