FORMER land and cooperative development minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was acquitted without his defence being called by the High Court for corrupt practice and cheating involving shares belonging to the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) in 1996.
Justice Suraya Othman ruled that the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case on both charges for the court to call Kasitah to enter his defence.
"On maximum evaluation of the evidence forwarded during the prosecution case, essential ingredients of both offences were not made out on the facts before the court.
"In the circumstances, the accused stands acquitted and discharged of both the charges against him," Suraya said in her 73-page judgment.
|Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam gets a kiss from his wife Puan Sri Rosnie Ambuting after was acquitted without his defence being called by the High Court for corrupt practice and cheating in 1996. NST pix by Ghazali Bujang|
An elated Kasitah, 62, told reporters that he was very relieved and happy with the verdict and would be rushing to visit his moth er in Ranau before going for the umrah with his family and friends.
"I''m very thankful to God and I did not expect to be freed today after going through this ordeal since 2004," he said before being hugged his family members and wife Rosni Ambuting.