By Kenneth Tee | Malay Mail
Former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has succeeded in having four abuse of power charges against him quashed following a High Court decision today.
In delivering the court’s decision, High Court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin said the aforementioned charges accusing Muhyiddin of allegedly using his position to obtain gratification amounting to RM232.5 million for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia failed to disclose any offence details.
“The four charges did not disclose an offence under section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) which calls for an extraordinary circumstance compelling me to use the court’s inherent powers.
“This is to prevent an abuse of the court process. I am therefore allowing for the four charges to be struck out and the applicant is acquitted and released,” he said.
With the four charges struck out, Muhyiddin has three remaining criminal charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act that are pending at the Sessions Court.
In his decision, Muhammad Jamil said the court disagreed with the prosecutors’ argument that the particulars of how the offence was committed were not required to be disclosed in the charge but could later be proven through court testimonies.
“This will surely bring about injustice to the applicant who is uninformed of the true nature of the offence committed and therefore incapacitating them of an effective defence before trial commences.
“The unmentioned particulars render the charges vague and the applicant confused since he has no idea what matter concerning his decision or action he had taken (in committing the offence).
“The applicant should not be allowed to speculate and prejudiced when he is not informed of their true nature,” he said.
Ruling in favour of Muhyiddin, the judge said the former cannot be forced to undergo a criminal proceeding that was in clear violation of the law, since this will constitute an abuse of the court process should the trial be allowed to continue under the defective charges.
He said Muhyiddin’s right to a fair trial under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution was also violated in the process due to the defective charges filed against him.
When met outside the court, lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the charges against his client were seriously defective and expressed gratitude to His Lordship for accepting their arguments.
He also said the three money laundering charges would also not stand on their own and would be dismissed as well since they were dependent on the predicate offences which were struck out today.
Last April 18, Muhyiddin filed a notice of motion to request that he be acquitted and discharged of all four charges brought against him, alleging the charges lacked particulars as to how he had abused his position or the Prime Minister’s Office for the purpose of gratification.
Based on the four charges, Muhyiddin as Prime Minister of Malaysia and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president is alleged to have used his position to receive bribes amounting to RM232.5 million from three companies namely Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd, and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, as well as Datuk Azman Yusoff for the party.