Former Kedah MBI CEO charged with corruption over joint venture REE mining
ALOR SETAR - Former Kedah Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI Kedah) chief executive officer pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court, here today, to charges of soliciting and accepting gratification in connection with a joint venture mining of rare earth element (REE) in Kedah.
Muhamad Sobri Osman, 63, made the plea after the charges were read out to him before Judge Rohatul Akmal Abdullah.
On the first count, he was charged with soliciting gratification of RM4 million from one John Abad Pe, from Kumpulan Perlombongan REE Sdn Bhd, as an incentive for him to help the company to carry out joint venture REE mining through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the company and MBI Kedah.
The offence was allegedly committed at a hotel in Hatyai, Thailand, on May 20 this year.
For this charge, the prosecution requested to apply the provision under Section 66 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) 2009 which provides that any citizen and permanent resident of Malaysia who commits an offence abroad can be prosecuted in the country.
Muhamad Sobri was also charged with accepting a gratification of RM1 million in cash from John Abad Pe through Liyana Mamat@Khalid as an inducement to help Kumpulan Perlombongan REE Sdn Bhd to carry out a joint venture REE mining in Kedah through an MoU between the company and MBI Kedah.
The offence was allegedly committed in the parking lot of Wisma Darul Aman, Jalan Tunku Bendahara, here last May 29.
Both charges are framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694) which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification which is the subject matter of the offence, where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or ten thousand ringgit, whichever is the higher, upon conviction
The court allowed Muhamad Sobri bail of RM100,000 with one surety for both charges and also ordered him to surrender his passport, report himself to the nearest MACC office on the first week of every month and not intimidate witnesses in the case.
The court also set Jan 22 next year for mention for the submission of documents.
The prosecution was conducted by handled by MACC deputy public prosecutors Farah Yasmin Salleh, Natrah Fareha Rahmat and Muhammad Asnaf Mohamed Tahir, while the accused was represented by lawyers Ibrahim Ismail and Mohammed Zamri Ibrahim. - BERNAMA