Khir says made a scapegoat

(The Malaysian Insider) – Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo said today he was being made a political fall guy, following his conviction for abusing his influence to buy a luxury home and land at a discount of up to RM3 million.

The former Selangor mentri besar has maintained his innocence, insisting that the RM3.5 million deal was at market value and on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis.

“Right from the start,” he said when asked by reporters after the guilty verdict if he was being made a political scapegoat.

After judge Datuk Mohtarudin Baki ordered the seizure of the property and sentenced the Sungai Panjang assemblyman to 12 months jail, Dr Khir told reporters that “this is not the final judgment and I will continue to fight to clear my name.”

“On the question of politics, I will answer after January 9,” he added in an apparent reference to the date of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy verdict.

Dr Khir appeared to be referring to speculation that he would be given a hefty sentence to avoid allegations of injustice should PKR de facto leader Anwar be found guilty.

Earlier, Mohtarudin had ruled that the conviction under Section 165 of the Penal Code also invoked Section 36 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which mandates that the court seize property that is the subject of a graft offence.

However, he granted Dr Khir a stay of execution pending an appeal that defence lawyer M. Athimulan said would be filed this afternoon.