By Sharanjit Singh | New Straits Times
The Court of Appeal (COA) today voiced its unhappiness over former Tabung Haji Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s failure to turn up in court for his appeal over his corruption and money laundering charges, making it clear that the Umno politician should not abuse the court process.
Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, who led a three-member panel, told the Umno Supreme Council member’s lawyer that it was unbecoming of the politician not to turn up in court.
“We have postponed this case many times.
“We don’t dispute his health condition but don’t abuse the process,” he said.
Earlier, Abdul Azeez’s lead counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad informed the panel, which also included Justices Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali, that his client had suffered from gastroenteritis at 2am today and had sought treatment at the Universiti Malaysia Medical Centre.
After getting an earful from the judges, the lawyer said it was not his client’s intention to abuse the process but Abdul Azeez had been forced to skip court because of his health condition.
Today’s hearing was held for the court to decide on Abdul Azeez’s appeal for the court to strike out his corruption and money laundering charges.
The court was supposed to decide on the matter last month but it was postponed after Amer told the panel that he had made representations to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for the charges against his client to be dropped.
However, today he informed the judges that he had written no less than four letters of representation to the AGC but had not received any reply from the chambers.
“We were hoping for a final decision from the AGC but have received nothing at all,” he said.
He previously said the letter of representation was sent to the AGC after he was informed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that there were new leads that they were looking into and that MACC was set to brief the AGC on the new development.
The court later set Sept 5 to decide on Abdul Azeez’s appeal.
The Baling Member of Parliament is facing three corruption charges involving RM5.2 million and 10 money laundering offences involving RM13.9 million.
The corruption charges faced by Abdul Azeez are in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah while the money-laundering charges involve money which he allegedly received from a company called Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd.
He was accused of corruptly receiving the money at the CIMB Bank, Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8, 2010, and at Affin Bank, Puchong City Centre, Selangor, on June 13, 2017, and April 10, 2018.
On the money laundering charges, Abdul Azeez was accused of committing the offences in the Klang Valley between March 8, 2010, and Aug 30, 2018.
He has sought the COA’s intervention to have the charges against him dropped after pleading that he had been accused in bad faith.
Abdul Azeez, 55, had appealed against the High Court’s decision on March 12 last year which dismissed his application to strike out the charges.