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Appeal Court upholds acquittal of former SLDB GM

13th March, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal on Monday upheld the acquittal of former Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) general manager Datuk Wasli Mohd Said on bribery charges involving RM1 million in 2006.

A three-man bench comprising Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer and Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the prosecution’s appeal.

“We find there are no merits in the appeal. No appealable error that warrants our intervention,” said Justice Mohtarudin, who chaired the bench.

He said the order of the High Court to acquit Wasli was affirmed. On June 7, 2016, the Kuala Lumpur High Court acquitted and discharged Wasli, 69, on two counts of bribery without calling for his defence.

Wasli, also the former managing director of Sawit Kinabalu Bhd, was accused of offering a RM500,000 bribe to SLDB director John Liaw Chee Shing as an inducement for him to support the approval of the purchase of SLDB shares in Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd by his trading company, Syarikat Briskmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd, during its board meeting.

Wasli, from Sabah, allegedly committed the offence at Hotel Fairlane in Kuala Lumpur between 10.20am and 10.30am on Oct 22, 1996.

He was also charged with offering a RM500,000 bribe to SLDB director Michael Emban as an inducement for him to agree during its board meeting to a proposal for the sale of SLDB shares in Sapi Plantations to Briskmark Enterprise.

The offence was allegedly committed at the same hotel between 9.40am and 10.20am, also on Oct 22, 1996. Wasli was charged on Feb 10, 2006, under Section 3 of the Anti-Corruption Act 1961, which carries a fine of up to RM10,000, or jail of up to five years, or both, on each charge, if found guilty.

Wasli was represented by lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, while Deputy Public Prosecutor Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud appeared for the prosecution. – Bernama

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