By Timothy Achariam and Hafiz Yatim | The Edge Malaysia
The High Court has struck out all four corruption charges totalling RM232.5 million against former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin said the charges brought by the prosecutor did not clearly disclose any offence.
“The charges are defective, and I am using my power to strike out the charges, as there was an abuse of process,” he said.
The judge further explained in his decision that the four charges linked to the Jana Wibawa programme were defective, and not in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.
He said that the charges did not follow the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, because they did not stipulate how the alleged offences were committed, whether Muhyiddin sat in a meeting, or influenced a decision to allegedly receive the RM232.5 million he was charged with taking.
The prosecution, Jamil added, indicated that the details will come out during the course of the trial.
However, the judge said no details of the offences were highlighted, as the charges did not stipulate how they were committed and what they relate to.
This, Jamil said, in his mind resulted in injustice, as the defence was not able to prepare its defence, as the requirements of sections 152 and 153 of the Criminal Procedure Code had not been fulfilled.
“This creates a confusion, as there is no proper notice of what he is accused of — the way the offences were committed. This resulted in a mistake and failure in proper procedures. The court finds the charges to be defective, and this court considers this an abuse of the court process,” he said.
“I am using the inherent jurisdiction given to allow the striking out of the four abuse of power charges,” the judge added.
The High Court ordered that Muhyiddin be discharged and acquitted of the four abuse of power charges, which were set to be tried in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
However, Jamil did not rule anything over the three money laundering charges, as Muhyiddin’s defence team did not make any relevant application.
The charges alleged Muhyiddin as having received RM232.5 million in bribes from corporate entities and an individual between March 1, 2020 and Aug 20, 2021, in his capacity as the then Prime Minister and Bersatu president.
The charges alleged that the money was deposited into Bersatu’s bank accounts from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd, Mamfor Sdn Bhd, and Datuk Azman Yusoff.
When met, Muhyiddin’s lawyers led by Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Datuk K. Kumaraendran, Chethan Jethwani, and Amer Hamzah Arshad told The Edge that they did not make any application to strike out the money laundering charges.
This followed the abuse of power charges, they said, which were the purported predicate offences, and now that they had fallen, the defence indicated that they will follow up with the Sessions Court to have the three money laundering charges withdrawn.
The prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutors Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Ahmad Akram Gharib.
The prosecution also indicated on Tuesday morning (Aug 15) that they would hold a press conference shortly.
Should the prosecution want to appeal the decision, it has 14 days from Tuesday to file the notice of appeal.
Muhyiddin, 76, was charged in the Sessions Court in March with four counts of abuse of power under section 23 of the MACC Act.
He was also facing three money laundering charges for receiving proceeds from illegal activities amounting to RM200 million from Bukhary Equity, out of the RM232.5 million.