By Hafiz Yatim | The Edge Markets
Lawyers representing Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan told the Sessions Court on Monday (May 8) they had sent a letter to the prosecution contending that there are legal issues with the graft charges against the former information chief of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
His counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad said the letter was sent on May 2, and the defence wants the prosecution’s feedback on this.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Amirah Muhammad Ali confirmed receiving the letter, and told Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob that the prosecution needs time to consider its contents.
Siti Amirah also informed the court that the prosecution had also handed most of the documents to the defence, as required by section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code as pre-trial instructions.
However, Siti Amirah said some banking documents were pending, and she sought to give the documents at the next mention date.
Meanwhile, the judge told Amer Hamzah that the defence should file a proper application if it seeks to strike out the charges, or challenge the legality of the charges, so there would be an exchange of affidavits.
Amer Hamzah replied that the letter was to give notice to the prosecution first on the legal issues of the charges.
Following this, Rozina instructed May 22 as another case management date for the prosecution to update the court over the letter, and also hand over the rest of the documents, and possibly fix trial dates.
She also reminded the defence that it is required to furnish Wan Saiful’s statement of defence, and this is to be made a month before the trial date.
Wan Saiful, who is the current Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament, is charged under section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 with soliciting bribes from Nepturis Sdn Bhd to facilitate its pre-approval as a contractor by the government in April 2022 for a Central Spine Road project worth RM232 million.
Wan Saiful is charged with having solicited an unspecified amount for the aforementioned RM232 million project from one Lian Tan Chuan.
On the second charge, he is charged under section 17(a) of the MACC Act with receiving RM6,962,694.54 through his company’s CIMB Bank account under WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from Nepturis.
The charges were read out to him and stated that he committed the offences between July 8 and Sept 30 in 2022.
Both charges under the MACC Act are punishable under section 24 of the Act, and carry a sentence of up to 20 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.