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Monday, November 20, 2023

Sanusi’s ex-aide claims trial to taking bribe over REE project


Hilmi Abdul Wahab pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A former political aide to Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Nor has claimed trial to two charges of soliciting and receiving bribes involving a rare earths mining project in the state.

Hilmi Abdul Wahab, 50, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court today before judge Suzana Hussin, Bernama reported.

Hilmi is charged with soliciting RM250,000 from Liana Mamat Khalid, the director of REE Mining Group, through an individual named Syed Muhammad Syid Aluvi at Taman Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, on July 4.

He is also charged with receiving RM150,000 from Liana on July 11 at the Nasi Kandar Pelita restaurant at Desa Sri Hartamas.

The alleged bribe was to help the company’s application for a rare earth mining licence and exploration licence in Kedah to be approved.

Both charges were framed under Section 16(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, read with Section 24(1) of the same Act, which provides for up to 20 years in jail and a minimum fine of RM10,000, if convicted.

Previously, MACC summoned Sanusi and 10 Kedah state executive councillors to assist in its investigation into alleged corruption and illegal mining of rare earths in the state.

It had also arrested the CEO of Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated and a female director of a company to assist in an investigation involving corruption amounting to more than RM13 million. - FMT

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