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Monday, October 17, 2016

Sabah Water Dept official ‘resting’, not back to work yet, says lawyer

Ag. Mohd. Tahir bin. Mohd
KOTA KINABALU - A senior official at the Sabah Water Department is on a “break”, his lawyer clarified after initially suggesting the person who had been detained for a corruption investigation would be back at work today.

PJ Pereira said his client was currently resting following his release yesterday from the detention that began with his October 4 arrest.

Staff at the department, who declined to be named, also confirmed that the official was not in the office today, but said that operations were not disrupted by the absence of the two senior officers.

Earlier, Pereira told The Star that pending any suspension order or court charges, the official would return to work.

The 54-year-old director was released on bail by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at the Kepayan police lock-up at about 1pm yesterday. He deposited a RM500,000 bond with two sureties.

He is to report to the Sabah MACC on a monthly basis.

Three other suspects — the deputy director, his “Datuk” brother and the latter’s accountant — were also released today on bail.

The lawyer for the deputy director, Datuk Chau Chin Tang, also said that his client had no plans and would wait for the MACC to complete their investigation before deciding on the next course of action.

Sources in MACC said investigators were still calling up witnesses, gathering evidence and recording statements.

A fifth suspect — a technical and engineering adviser to the Sabah Finance Ministry — is still in custody from his arrest last week. His court remand expires on Wednesday.

The five were arrested last October 4 for suspected involvement in corruption offences including alleged kickbacks and money laundering of funds from RM3.3 billion in federal projects.

Investigators have seized over RM190 million in cash, valuables and property from the suspects, and questioned nearly 80 people as part of the case.

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