TEMERLOH, 13 March 2009: Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohamad Norza Zakaria pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court today to two charges of giving bribes to two individuals in January.
Norza, 43, who is also Federal Territory Umno Youth chief, is alleged to have committed the offences on 20 Jan 2009 at 6.30pm at No. 38, Pinggiran Tasik, Taman Bandar Temerloh, here.
He is charged with corruptly giving Khadri Musa RM1,500 through Halimi Kamaruzzaman to be distributed to party delegates as inducement to vote for him (Norza) in the contest for a party supreme council seat in this month’s Umno elections.
Norza is also charged with corruptly giving RM1,900 to Mohammad Anuar Yunus through Halimi for the same purpose.
The charges are under Section 16(b)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act.
If found guilty, Norza can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined not less than five times the amount of the bribe, whichever is higher.
For both charges, Magistrate Ida Rahayu Sharif allowed Norza bail of RM10,000 with one surety and fixed 22 April for re-mention of the case.
Clad in a suit, Norza who arrived in court at 10am accompanied by bodyguards, appeared calm when the charges were read to him.
He was represented by lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah while MACC senior federal counsel Datuk Abdul Razak Musa appeared for the prosecution.
Shafee said his side had no problem with the re-mention date but asked the court for an early trial date.
Halimi, 47, from No. 99, Lorong IM2/88, Taman Medan Mahsyur, Bandar Indera Mahkota, Kuantan also pleaded not guilty to two charges of respectively giving, on behalf of Norza, Khadri and Mohammad Anuar the RM1,500 and RM1,900 in order to buy votes for Norza.
Halimi, who is Maran Umno division committee member, was also charged under the same section of the MACC Act and allowed bail of RM10,000 with one surety.
He was represented by lawyer Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos.
Will not quit
Later when asked by reporters, Norza said he would not quit as Umno supreme council member just because of the two corruption cases he was facing, and that he would contest the post again in the coming party elections.
“I am leaving it to the party delegates to decide on my position in the party,” he said.
Shedding tears, Norza said he was deeply saddened by what happened to him today as he felt he had contributed a lot to the party during 17 years of his involvement in politics.
He felt that it was the price he had to pay as a politician, but it would not dampen his spirit to continue struggling for the party and he was prepared to face the outcome of the court case.
Some of his supporters tried to comfort him outside the courtroom, and about 30 others shouted “Hidup Datuk Norza! Pastikan dia boleh bertanding!” before he was driven out of the court grounds in an MPV. — Bernama