Malaysia

Court defers NFCorp consultant’s cheating case to May 21

Shamsubahrin (centre) claims he was coerced into the alleged bribery attempt. – File picShamsubahrin (centre) claims he was coerced into the alleged bribery attempt. – File picKUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — The Sessions Court today postponed the start of Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail’s trial for allegedly defrauding the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) to May 21.

The 45-year-old businessman was charged in December with cheating NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail of RM1.76 million in fraudulent consultancy fees.

The court was unable to proceed with the case today as the prosecution said it had yet to receive a forensics report over the text messages (SMS) Shamsubahrin had sent in November last year.

“We only have the hardcopy version of the SMSes Shamsubahrin received,” deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa told reporters.

“We want to know what he sent, because without it, we cannot counter the statements he made,” he said, referring to Shamsubahrin’s police report over SMS purportedly pressuring him to bribe police to end its probe on NFCorp.

Abdul Razak added that it would be determined on May 21 whether they were to proceed, drop or “add more” to the charges against the businessman.

Judge Rozilah Salleh also fixed July 16 to 27 as dates for the hearing.

Shamsubahrin was represented by lawyers Zarina Mohd and Rafiq Rahim.

Salleh is chairman of NFCorp, which is at the centre of a scandal involving the alleged abuse of RM250 million in government loans.

He is husband to federal minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who announced on March 11 she would quit the Cabinet when her senatorship ends on April 8.

Salleh was charged last month with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act after he allegedly misused RM49 million in public funds meant for the National Feedlot Centre cattle-farming scheme.

NFCorp hit the national headlines after it made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.

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