Ex-Sime Darby CEO loses appeal, to stand trial on CBT, cheating charges
NST, March 28, 2014
Former Sime Darby Berhad president and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubair Murshid has to stand trial in the Sessions Court on charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating.
This is because he lost his final appeal at the Federal Court here today to strike out two principal CBT charges and two alternative cheating charges.
A five-member panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif unanimously dismissed Ahmad Zubair's appeal and upheld the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal which had respectively, rejected his application and appeal to strike out the charges.
Md Raus ordered the case to be transferred back to the Sessions Court for trial.
The case is fixed for mention on April 7 at the Sessions Court.
The other judges presiding on the panel were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, Datuk Zainun Ali and Datuk Mohamed Apandi Ali.
Ahmad Zubair, 56, claimed trial at a sessions court in Kuala Lumpur on amended principal charges of criminal breach of trust involving more than RM100 million, and two alternative charges of cheating.
The charges were in connection with the acquisition of native customary rights (NCR) land in Sarikei under the Sarawak Upstream Expansion Plan.
On the first charge, he was accused of failing to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17 and 28, 2008, to rectify the award of the NCR lands in KJD/Lower Julau, Sg Julau/Sg Pitoh/Sg Jiet and part of Merurun/Meluan/Entabai in Sarikei to Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd, and thereby causing Sime Darby to incur losses amounting to RM85,023,047.20 for having to acquire Vertical Drive.
On the second charge, he was accused of failing to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 to rectify the award of the NCR lands in the confluence of Btg Rejang/Btg Baleh, Kapit and the remaining eastern half of the Merurun/Meluan/Entabai and Julau to Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd and thus, causing Sime Darby to incur losses amounting to RM16,816,217 in having to acquire Nature Ambience.
For the cheating charges, he was accused of failing to inform Sime Darby's board of directors on Nov 28, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009, respectively, that the NCR lands in Sarikei had instead, been awarded to Vertical Drive and Nature Ambience.
On March 15, last year , the High Court dismissed Ahmad Zubair's application for his charges to be struck out.
The Court of Appeal also dismissed his appeal on July 18, last year.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais and Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi appeared for the prosecution while Ahmad Zubair was represented by a team of lawyers headed by lawyer Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden.