06 December 2010

Khir Toyo charged with land fraud (Versi English)

SHAH ALAM, Dec 6 — Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was charged in the Sessions Court here today with alleged land fraud in connection with the purchase of property in Section 7, Shah Alam.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail leads the prosecution team.
Dr Khir (picture) pleaded not guilty to the charge.
If found guilty, Dr Khir, 45, faces two years' imprisonment, a fine, or both under section 165 of the Penal Code.
The Selangor opposition chief is charged with knowingly purchasing two land lots and bungalow for RM3.5 million in Section 7 here from Ditamas Sdn Bhd in 2007 despite the company buying the property for RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.
The Sungai Panjang assemblyman is charged with obtaining the two land lots and bungalow, which are located at No. 8 and 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1 L, Shah Alam, for himself and his wife Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik, 45.
Dr Khir is accused of making the purchase through Ditamas director Datuk Shamsuddin Hayroni, 54, at his then official Selangor Mentri Besar residence at Jalan Permata 7/1, Section 7 here on May 29, 2007.
The former administrator of the country's wealthiest state appeared calm despite potentially facing two years behind bars.
The courtroom was packed with pressmen and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers as the charge was read out to Dr Khir who was dressed in a white shirt.
Shamsuddin was charged today with abetting Dr Khir in the deal.
The businessman also faces two years' imprisonment, a fine, or both if convicted. He pleaded not guilty.
Earlier, Gani urged judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh to set bail at RM1 million to secure Dr Khir's attendance in court.
"In order to secure his attendance in court, one must impose a significant amount that will give confidence to everyone that he will attend," said Gani in the packed courtroom.
"That's why I said anything less than RM1 million will be unjust," he added.
The country's top lawyer also pointed out that Dr Khir's alleged crime was a matter of public interest.
"This is a very serious matter. This matter has gotten a lot of public interest," said Gani.
"This investigation has been very, very fair and my officers have been at pains in ensuring it," he added.
The judge, however, set bail at RM750,000 each for Dr Khir and Shamsuddin.
Dr Khir's mansion in Shah Alam had come under fire when critics claimed it cost RM24 million, although the politician had maintained it cost only RM3.5 million.
The late Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros also had a run in with the law in 2006 for building his infamous mansion in Klang without construction permits.
Dr Khir was charged today amid intense speculation that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may call for snap polls by the first quarter of next year.
Under former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration, prominent businessman Eric Chia and former Land and Co-operative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam were similarly charged in 2004 with corruption prior to the general election in 2004 that gave Abdullah a strong mandate to rule the country.
Dr Khir's prosecution also comes just as Barisan Nasional (BN) pledged to uphold the principles of good governance and to reject corrupt practices, based on its new charter that was launched yesterday.
The case makes Dr Khir the second major BN leader to be prosecuted since Najib took over the government in April last year.
Last July, former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik was charged with misleading the Cabinet over land acquisition in Port Klang.
Dr Khir’s trial is to be transferred to the High Court here which will set a mention date.

Sumber Malaysian Insider


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