Do you recall the first Sabah chief minister after the 14th General Election that was sworn-in for two days before being “replaced” by Warisan (PH) representative Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal?
The “two chief minister” case will fight it all out on November 7 but yesterday (Nov 5), claimant Tan Sri Musa Aman was charged for having pocketed US$63 million of bribes by offering timber concessions in Sabah, Malaysiakini reported.
Musa was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and brought to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to face 35 corruption charges.
The former chief minister from 2003 until May 2018 was alleged to have received RM243 million in Hong Kong and Singapore as an inducement for Sabah’s timber deals. The offence was allegedly committed between Dec 20, 2004, and Nov 6, 2008.
The current Sungai Sibuga assemblyperson pleaded not guilty to the charges under Section 11(a) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997; lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram requested judge Rozina Ayob to impose a RM5 million bail with two sureties and Musa to surrender both of his civilian and diplomatic passports.
To that, defence lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad and Ridha Abdah Subri asked for leniency, contending that their client had cooperated with the MACC in its investigation, which even got him to return from London after a treatment for his heart condition.
“On Friday, he received notice to come to the MACC on Monday, and he thought he was required to give a statement, without knowing he would be arrested.
“He readily came and was arrested and brought to court. The bail should not be excessive, as my client had cooperated in the investigations,” said Amer Hamzah.
The defence lawyer also contended that his client would also be needed to appear in the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Wednesday (Nov 7) for a decision on the “two chief minister” case.
Amer Hamzah hoped the courts would not be prejudiced by this corruption case over the decision on who is the rightful Sabah chief minister. He claimed that the untimely charges was a “politically convenient” move orchestrated by MACC, The Star reported him as saying.
The court granted him a RM2 million bail and ordered Musa to surrender his two passports. He paid the first half of the bail while the rest will be settled before Wednesday.
“The court orders that the accused be here until Wednesday, until the bail is settled,” the judge said. The case management is fixed on December 13.