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Thursday, January 29, 2015

SHAHRIZAT'S HUSBAND tries to shake off CBT charge, claims loan no longer 'govt funds'

SHAHRIZAT'S HUSBAND tries to shake off CBT charge, claims loan no longer 'govt funds'
National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) chairperson Mohamad Salleh Ismail has argued that since the soft loan from the government was not a grant, there's no criminal breach of trust (CBT).
His lawyers made this argument at the High Court yesterday in Salleh's second bid to have the CBT case against him struck out.
In November 2013 the Sessions Court threw out his application to strike out the two CBT charges involving RM49.7 million.
At the hearing yesterday, Salleh's lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the court NFC's RM250 million soft loan from the government was not a grant.
"Thus, the matter would be of a civil nature and not criminal," argued Shafee according to a statement by Salleh's public relations agency.
“This money has legally passed to NFCorp and is no longer the government’s money.
"NFCorp has an obligation to repay the loan subsequently. Therefore, NFCorp is not the trustee for the fund for the government,” said Shafee according to the statement.
On March 12, 2012, Salleh claimed trial to dishonestly misusing funds amounting to RM9,758,140 through four cheques to partly finance the purchase of two condominium units and transferring RM40 million into the account of the National Meat and Livestock Corporation Sdn Bhd (NMLC).
Salleh, who is husband to Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, courted controversy with the RM250 million soft loan for NFC's cattle project after the 2011 auditor-general's report highlighted issues with the project.
In 2013, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) further revealed a number of faults in the awarding of the feedlot contract to NFC.
'Board informed'
At yesterday's proceedings presided by judge Mohd Azman Husin, Shafee also repeated arguments made in the Sessions Court in 2013 that the board of directors had been informed of the transfers to NMLC that are at the heart of the CBT charges.
"NFCorp’s audit report, approved by the board, was circulated to all members of the board including representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, and the Menteri Besar Inc of Negeri Sembilan, for their information," said Shafee according to the statement.
“No objections were received from the government representatives nor from the shareholders, all of whom were members of the board of NFCorp,” argued the lawyer citing minutes of board meeting No. 18 dated September 21, 2011.
The court has reportedly set the decision on the striking out application to be delivered on February 26. - M'kini

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