By Ho Kit Yen | Free Malaysia Today
The Court of Appeal today rejected Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s bid to nullify his corruption and money laundering charges.
Judge Kamaluddin Md Said held that the three corruption charges were not defective.
The other judges who sat with him were Abu Bakar Jais and Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.
However, the court granted Azeez’s bid to nullify four of his 10 money laundering charges amounting to RM12.9 million, as the alleged locations stated under the four charges were “too wide”.
It also ordered Azeez’s trial to continue before the sessions court, which had fixed Sept 7 for mention.
Azeez was charged in 2019 with accepting bribes amounting to RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah.
He also faces 10 counts of money laundering involving RM13.9 million over funds from a company, Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd.
The UMNO Supreme Council member sought to nullify his corruption and money laundering charges, claiming that they were done in bad faith.
In delivering the court’s decision, Bakar said the three corruption charges were not defective and the prosecution had clearly notified Azeez that he breached the provision under section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.
The judge said the content in the three charges complied with criteria under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
On Azeez’s 10 money laundering charges, he held that all of them were not defective.
However, on the four charges that were struck out, he questioned why the prosecution did not specify the location where Azeez allegedly committed the wrongdoing.
“This raised a serious question as to why the prosecution only stated ‘around Klang Valley’ in the four charges, unlike the other charges (where the charges specifically spelled out the locations),” he said.
In addressing the defence’s argument that Azeez’s charges were made in bad faith, Bakar said the Baling MP failed to show that the then Attorney General, Tommy Thomas, misused his powers in pressing the charges.
“There was no political persecution (as claimed). The accused (Azeez) cannot be freed just like that, he needs to stand trial,” he said.
Azeez is represented by lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad. Deputy Public Prosecutor Aslinda Ahad appeared for the prosecution.
Speaking to reporters after the decision, Amer hoped the Attorney General would still consider their representation.
“If trial dates were to be fixed, we are ready to proceed because we have nothing to be afraid of.
“The facts of the case clearly exonerate Datuk Seri (Azeez),” he said.