KUALA LUMPUR: The defence team in the trial of Datuk Peter Anthony, who faces charges of forging letters over Mechanical and Electrical System (M&E) maintenance work and services contract at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), closed its case today, after calling three witnesses at the Sessions Court hearing here.
Judge Azura Alwi set March 31 to hear oral submissions from both parties before deciding on the case involving the former Sabah infrastructure development minister.
The court also ordered the prosecution and defence to submit their written submissions on or before March 21, and the parties to file counter-submissions on or before March 31.
Lawyer S. Devanandan, who represented Peter, 51, informed the court that the defence closed the case after the third defence witness, namely digital forensics manager at Siaga Informatics Sdn Bhd, Nurul Aiman Azmail, 34, had finished testifying.
On Dec 14, the court ordered the accused to enter his defence after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against him.
Peter, who is also the former vice president of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), testified from the witness stand on Feb 9 and 10.
At the prosecution stage, a total of 15 witnesses including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, former treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi were called to testify at the trial which began on April 5, 2021.
According to the charge, Peter as the managing director of Syarikat Asli Jati, was charged with forging a letter from the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UMS dated June 9, 2014, by inserting a false statement with the intention of being used for fraudulent purposes.
He was accused of committing the act at the office of the principal private secretary to the prime minister at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya between June 13 and Aug 21, 2014, and was charged under Section 468 of the Penal Code which provides for imprisonment for up to seven years and fine.
The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin along with Haresh Prakash Somiah and Francine Cheryl Rajendram.