Court agrees to return NFCorp chief’s passport temporarily
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail won back his passport today and will be allowed to travel abroad despite being charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) over the controversial national cattle-farming scandal.
Sessions Court judge Justice SM Komathy Suppiah ruled to allow Mohamad Salleh’s application to regain his impounded passport so that he may travel to perform his Islamic pilgrimage and carry out business trips abroad.
She ordered the passport to be returned to the court on or before May 16, The Star Online reported.
Mohamad Salleh filed the application to regain his passport on April 10 to enable his travel plans this month and next.
According to The Star, the 64-year-old is due to fly to Mecca for his umrah from April 28 to May 5. He is also schedule to visit Kazakhtan between May 5 and 11, before heading to London from May 11 to 15 to visit his daughter Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabeda, who is studying at the Imperial College Business School.
He was accompanied in court today by his wife, former Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, and other family members.
Mohamad Salleh, who is also the director of Meatworks (S) Pte Ltd, had also applied to travel to Singapore between April 23 and 26 to manage the operations of his restaurant business there, based on his affidavit.
The court document also stated that he was planning to expand his business by setting up a farm and an abattoir on a 50,000-hectare parcel of land in partnership with Smart Agro Karkara Ltd in Kazakhtan, a venture he had planned before the court case began.
Last March 12, Mohamad Salleh was charged with CBT as well two counts under the Companies Act in the scandal that has opened Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to damaging attacks ahead of elections expected soon.
The 64-year-old was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code relating to CBT for misappropriating RM9,758,140 from NFCorp’s funds to purchase two condominium units at the One Menerung complex in Bangsar for the National Meat and Livestock Corporation (NMLC) on December 1 and December 4, 2009.
Mohamad Salleh was also charged under the same section for transferring RM40 million of NFCorp’s funds to the NMLC between May 6 and November 16, 2009.
He was further charged in both cases for using the said funds without any approval from company’s annual general meeting, which is an offence under Section 132 of the Companies Act 1965.
If found guilty, he faces between two and 20 years’ imprisonment, whipping, and a fine for the offences under the Penal Code.
Mohamad Salleh also faces a five-year jail term or RM30,000 fine for the charges proffered under the Companies Act.
The court set May 28 as the next mention date for his case.