The Sessions Court here today acquitted and discharged former president and chief executive officer of Kumpulan Sime Darby Berhad Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubair Murshid of criminal breach of trust and fraud.
Judge Zulqarnain Hassan made the decision after Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said he no longer intended to continue with the prosecution against Ahmad Zubair, 58.
He said the charges had been withdrawn after the Attorney-General’s Department accepted and was satisfied with the representation put up by the accused through his counsel, Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, on July 22.
Ahmad Akram requested that the accused be discharged not amounting to an acquittal according to Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“After receiving a briefing from the Attorney-General and considering all aspects of the law and the facts, the prosecution decided not to continue with the case because we feel that the prosecution did not reach a standard beyond reasonable doubt,” said Ahmad Akram.
However, the lawyer requested that his client be acquitted and discharged under Section 254(3) of the same code by taking into account that the department had accepted the representation of the defendants.
The trial for case should have been fixed for continuation today.
On July 17, 2012, Ahmad Zubair, pleaded not guilty to two amended main charges of criminal breach of trust involving Sime Darby funds for development projects on Sarawak customary land which resulted in losses of more than RM100 million.
He was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of a maximum of 20 years and caning and could be fined, upon conviction.
Ahmad Zubair also faced two alternative charges, namely deceiving members of the board of directors of Sime Darby Berhad involving the same project under Section 418 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail term of seven years or a fine or both, upon conviction.
He was alleged to have committed all the offences at the Sime Darby Berhad office, 21st Floor, Wisma Sime Darby, Jalan Raja Laut here between November 17 2008 and December 4 2009.
On March 15 2013, The High Court rejected Ahmad Zubair’s application to drop the charges.
The Court of Appeal had rejected his appeal on the case on July 18 2013.
On March 24 2014, the Federal Court ordered Ahmad Zubair to be tried at the Sessions Court on the charges.