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Saturday, October 30, 2021

Ku Nan freed as defence showed RM2mil was political donation, says court

 

The court said it was made clear to donor Chai Kin Kong that the money was for Umno to use in two by-elections.

PUTRAJAYA: The RM2 million given to Tengku Adnan Mansor by a businessman was proven by the defence to be a political donation for two by-elections and this led to his acquittal, a Court of Appeal majority judgment said.

Judge Ahmad Nasfy Yasin said the prosecution could not prove that the appellant, better known as Ku Nan, received the money for himself from Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd director Chai Kin Kong.

He said one of the essential ingredients which must be proven by the
prosecution was that the money was paid to Ku Nan and not to any other person or entity.

“We find the learned (High Court) judge’s conclusion that the ingredient had been established beyond reasonable doubt is untenable,” he said in the 41-page written grounds released yesterday.

On July 16, bench chairman Suraya Othman and Nasfy allowed the appeal and quashed Kun Nan’s conviction. Judge Abu Bakar Jais dissented.

The prosecution has appealed against the acquittal and is expected to file its petition soon as the written grounds are now ready.

Nasfy, in the judgment, said the majority concurred with the submission by defence lawyer Tan Hock Chuan that trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan had erred in law and in fact.

Tan had said the trial court failed to consider the evidence of four prosecution witnesses, including Chai, who supported the defence’s contention that the money was a political donation to Umno for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections.

Nasfy said the trial judge also did not consider the prosecution’s failure to re-examine Chai on the money.

“It is undisputed that Chai was the star witness for the prosecution and the entire version of the case was built largely upon his testimony,” he said.

Nasfy said the prosecution did not state Chai was a dishonest or untruthful witness. No attempts were made to impeach him or treat him as a hostile witness.

He said there were serious “misdirections and non-directions” committed by the trial judge on the law and evidence which warranted appellate intervention.

In dissenting, Abu Bakar said the prosecution had proven all the ingredients of the charge and Zaini was correct in convicting Ku Nan.

He said Ku Nan took the money for himself and it was never a political donation, adding that there was no evidence the money was spent on the by-elections.

“The money was sent to him and deposited in a bank account of Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, which the accused had an interest in,” he said.

On Dec 21 last year, Zaini found Ku Nan guilty of receiving the money from Chai despite knowing that the businessman’s companies had dealings with the federal territories ministry, which was helmed by Ku Nan at the time.

The Putrajaya MP was sentenced to 12 months’ jail and fined RM2 million. - FMT

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