Former Youth and Sports Ministry official facing 96 charges, to know court decision April 19

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The Sessions Court today set April 19 to deliver its decision on a former Youth and Sports Ministry official Otman Arsahd who is standing trial for 96 corruption and money-laundering charges.

Otman, who was under-secretary of the ministry’s finance division, faces 17 charges of allegedly submitting false claims and 15 charges of abuse of power under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act; and 64 charges of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

His lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali confirmed the verdict date when contacted.

“Postponed to allow defence to file Submission in Reply. Decision fixed April 19, 2023,” he told Malay Mail in a text message.

In this trial before Sessions Court judge Kamarudin Kamsun, Otman is accused of using his position in the ministry to submit false claims involving RM36.3 million between 2012 and 2015.

Otman also stands accused of using his government position to instruct a National Sports Council (NSC) director-general to pay a sum of RM2.16 million to companies linked to his children for organising various ministry-related programmes.

He also stands accused of receiving RM16,623,000 allegedly obtained from unlawful activities which were deposited into various bank accounts he owned through cheques.

In their submission, the prosecution contended the defence had failed to dispute the presumption of power abuse on the balance of probability and failed to raise any reasonable doubt.

The prosecution said the defence's testimony consisting of only the sole accused, is mere denial of involvement, an afterthought and probably not in truth.

The defence submitted that Otman had no authority to instruct NSC officials to make payments to said companies and evidence presented during the trial failed to show Otman had an intention in purportedly submitting the false claims.

A total of 70 prosecution witnesses were called to testify.