KUALA LUMPUR – The Sessions Court here has acquitted and discharged former Sime Darby Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubair @ Ahmad Zubir Murshid of two criminal breach of trust charges and two alternative cheating charges.
Judge Zukqarnain Hassan acquitted Ahmad Zubair after Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Akram Gharib informed the court that the prosecution did not wish to continue with the case.
He acquitted Ahmaf Zubair under Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The charges were in relation to the acquisition of native customary rights (NCR) land in Sarikei, Kapit and Julau under the Sarawak Upstream Expansion Plan.
Ahmad Zubair Was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code for failing to take or instruct legal action to rectify the award of NCR land in Lower Julau and Sarikei to a trading company, Vertical Drive.
The offence, which caused Sime Darby to incur RM85mil in losses by having to acquire Vertical Drive later, was alleged to have been committed between Nov 17 and Nov 28, 2008.
In the second charge, he was alleged to have failed to take or instruct legal action between Nov 17, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 to rectify the awarding of NCR land in Kapit and Julau to another trading company, Nature Ambience.
That resulted in Sime Darby incurring losses of RM16.8mil by having to later acquire Nature Ambience as well.
The two alternative charges, under Section 418 of the Penal Code, allege that Ahmad Zubair failed to inform the Sime Darby board of directors on Nov 28, 2008 and Dec 4, 2009 that the NCR land in Sarikei, Julau and Kapit had been awarded to Vertical Drive and Nature Ambience.