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Court suspends Muhyiddin’s bid to set aside money laundering charges
Published on: Thursday, February 15, 2024
By: FMT, V Anbalagan
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Court suspends Muhyiddin’s bid to set aside money laundering charges
Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin was acquitted of four charges of abuse of power in August last year. (Bernama pic)
Kuala Lumpur: The sessions court here has allowed the prosecution’s application to stay Muhyiddin Yassin’s bid to set aside three money laundering charges pending the outcome of a related appeal in the Court of Appeal later this month.

Sessions court judge Azura Alwi said this is to allow for the disposal of an urgent appeal by the prosecution against the former prime minister’s acquittal from four power abuse charges.

“The stay application is allowed in the interest of justice as there are urgent decisions to be made (in the Court of Appeal),” she said.

Azura added that she did not want disruptions since several applications were pending in this court.

The Court of Appeal will hear the prosecution’s appeal to reinstate Muhyiddin’s abuse of power charges on Feb 28 and 29.

The High Court acquitted Muhyiddin in August last year in allowing his application to strike out four charges of abusing his position to obtain bribes totalling RM232.5 million for Bersatu.

Justice Jamil Hussin said the charges did not disclose any offence known to law and were not sufficiently clear to enable Muhyiddin, the Bersatu president, to prepare his defence.

In May last year, the Pagoh MP was also charged with money laundering charges amounting to RM200 million.

Following the acquittal of his power abuse charges, Muhyiddin sought to set aside the money laundering charges, though he only wanted the sessions court to grant him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

“Since the court has ruled the predicate offences (abuse of power charges) are baseless, it follows that the money laundering charges are also groundless,” Muhyiddin had said in his affidavit.

Earlier today, deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin submitted that the stay should be granted because of special circumstances.

“The High Court judge acquitted Muhyiddin without hearing evidence from witnesses,” he said.

Fellow deputy public prosecutor Zander Lim submitted the stay should be allowed as the Court of Appeal will hear the prosecution’s appeal in two weeks.

“Justice is not only for an accused person but also for the prosecution, which represents the public interest to fight corruption and abuse of power,” he said.

However, lawyer Chetan Jethwani submitted that the prosecution’s stay application was frivolous and unreasonable.

“The High Court acquitted Muhyiddin as the abuse of power charges were defective,” he said.

Another lawyer, Amer Hamzah Arshad, also asked the court to first hear Muhyiddin’s application to strike out the money laundering charges, but this was dismissed.

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