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Friday, September 29, 2023

Prosecution cites 13 reasons to quash Muhyiddin’s acquittal

Prosecutors cited 13 reasons for their appeal to reverse former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s acquittal of four abuse of power charges.

In the petition of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, the prosecution’s reasons chiefly centred on the Kuala Lumpur High Court having erred in exercising its inherent jurisdiction to allow the Bersatu president’s application to nullify the four criminal charges.

On Aug 15, High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed the Perikatan Nasional leader’s bid, pointing out that the four power abuse charges were defective under the law and not in line with the Criminal Procedure Code. 

However, Muhyiddin still faces three related money laundering counts pending at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

According to a copy of the appeal petition, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar said among the 13 reasons are that Jamil had erred in law and fact as it was a premature move that prevented the prosecution from showing relevant documentary evidence and witness testimonies during the full trial.

The prosecutor contended that Muhyiddin’s nullification application amounted to an abuse of the court process as the full trial against the former prime minister had yet to even begin.

Dusuki claimed that any alleged defect in the power abuse charges against Muhyiddin is not fatal and can be rectified in court.

The prosecutor alleged that the High Court had also erred as Muhyiddin failed to prove that the four power abuse charges amounted to an abuse of the court process.

Jana Wibaba

The Court of Appeal has previously set two days beginning Feb 28 next year to hear the prosecution’s appeal to reinstate the power abuse case against Muhyiddin.

In March, before the Sessions Court, Muhyiddin claimed trial to four counts of abuse of power and three money laundering charges involving RM232.5 million linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

The four abuse of power charges, framed under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009, accused him of using his position as then prime minister and Bersatu president for an inducement of RM232.5 million from three companies and an individual, between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

The three companies are Bukhary Equity, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, while the individual in question is Azman Yusoff.

The three money laundering charges were laid out under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amlatfpuaa) - read with Section 87(1) of the same act.

The 76-year-old is accused of abusing his powers for Bersatu to receive RM125 million of proceeds from illegal activity from Bukhary Equity - between Feb 25, 2021, and July 8, 2022.

The charges did not allege that payment was made to Muhyiddin, hence, his personal bank accounts were never frozen.

The money was allegedly laundered by receiving money banked into Bersatu’s account.

Money laundering is the offence of disguising financial assets so they can be used without detection of the illegal activity that produced them. 

Through money laundering, the monetary proceeds derived from criminal activity are transformed into funds with an apparently legal source.

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