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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Isa Samad fails to obtain passport for pilgrimage

Former Felda chairman Isa Samad is accused of corruption and criminal breach of trust.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Felda chairman Isa Samad today lost his bid to obtain his passport from the court for the purpose of going on the umrah or pilgrimage.
Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi dismissed the application by Isa, who faces charges of corruption and criminal breach of trust (CBT), for a temporary release of his passport from Feb 11 to Feb 22.
“Although he poses no flight risk, the court sees no urgency for him to perform the umrah,” she said.
Isa’s lawyer, K Kumaraendran, earlier told the court that his client posed no flight risk as he had cooperated with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) throughout the course of the investigation.
“He travelled abroad several times when he was being investigated and informed MACC officers of where he was going,” he said, adding that no travel ban had been imposed on Isa.
Kumaraendran said Isa had wanted to perform the umrah to find solace from his distress over the criminal cases against him.
However, deputy public prosecutor Umar Saifuddin Jaafar objected to his application, questioning the need for Isa to go on pilgrimage again.
“He went twice last year, and travelled four times to different countries.
“As an accused, Isa has a duty to attend court whenever he is required to,” he said.
Isa claimed trial at the Sessions Court in December to one count of CBT and nine charges of accepting bribes in the purchase of a hotel in Sarawak at above market value.
He was accused of approving the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching without approval from the Felda board of directors, in his capacity as director of Felda Investment Corporation.
He was also said to have received over RM3 million from Ikhwan Zaidel, a board member of Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd.
The court imposed bail of RM800,000 for all the charges and ordered Isa to surrender his passport. -FMT

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