By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini

Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan will know on July 21 whether he succeeds in an application to strike out two graft charges linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

This afternoon, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court set the decision date on the former Bersatu information chief’s bid on the grounds that the charges were defective.

This was after judge Rozina Ayob heard oral submissions from Wan Saiful’s counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad and Deputy Public Prosecutor Rashidah Murni Adzmi.

During the hearing, Amer submitted that the charges are defective as they did not correctly state the specific date of the alleged offences.

The defence counsel added that they are not seeking a full acquittal for Wan Saiful but that the accused be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

However, Rashidah countered by saying that the charges are framed adequately as it sufficiently gives notice to the accused on the nature of the offences he was charged with.

Through his application, Wan Saiful contended, among others, that the two charges under section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009 are defective.

He claimed the charges do not state the specific time and date of the offence he had allegedly committed, thus contravening section 153 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Wan Saiful alleged that the charges do not contain sufficient particulars to give enough notice to him on what alleged offence he had committed, thus violating section 154 of the CPC.

Claim trial

On Feb 21, Wan Saiful claimed trial to two charges — first for soliciting a bribe of an unspecified amount and second for receiving a bribe of RM6.96 million between July 8, 2022, and Sept 30, 2022.

The Tasek Gelugor MP was accused of soliciting a bribe from one Lian Tan Chuan as an inducement to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd secure a project.

It was the “Central Spine Road: Sertik Ke Persimpangan Lebuhraya Pantai Timur” from the federal government through pre-qualification.

The project was supposed to be valued at RM232 million.

The second charge accused Wan Saiful of receiving, through his company WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd, the RM6.96 million from Nepturis as an inducement to help the latter secure a letter of award for the same project.

He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine not less than five times the value of the inducement.

The criminal court had set bail at RM400,000 and ordered Wan Saiful’s passport to be confiscated pending disposal of the case.

Jana Wibawa, an acronym for “Program Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputera Berwibawa”, was a COVID-19 stimulus programme for Bumiputera contractors.

The Muhyiddin Yassin administration introduced it in November 2020.

Parliament was told last week that the current administration had frozen Jana Wibawa projects worth RM5.7 billion, pending investigations.