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Prosecution wins appeal to restore Muhyiddin’s abuse of power charges
Published on: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
By: FMT, V Anbalagan
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Prosecution wins appeal to restore Muhyiddin’s abuse of power charges
The Court of Appeal has reinstated four abuse of power charges brought against Muhyiddin Yassin involving bribes of RM232.5 million. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Court of Appeal has reinstated four charges of abuse of power framed against former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, which were previously struck down by the High Court.

Delivering the unanimous decision, Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail said the High Court had erred in law in holding that the charges were defective.

The ruling paves the way for the trial to proceed in the Kuala Lumpur sessions court unless the former prime minister files an appeal to the Federal Court and secures a stay of the decision.

“The charges were unambiguous. There is no necessity to give further particulars,” said Hadhariah in the courtroom packed with Bersatu MPs and supporters.

Also on the three-member panel hearing the appeal were Justices Azmi Arifin and Komathy Suppiah.

Hadhariah said the bench also found no merit in Muhyiddin’s contention that Bersatu does not fall within the definition of the word “associate” in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

She said the ordinary meaning of the term “organisation”, defined as “a group formed for a particular purpose”, was broad enough to include societies.

Therefore, Bersatu, being a political society, came within the definition of “associate” in the Act.

“We agree with the appellant (prosecution), that the judge erred in law (in holding) that the charges did not disclose any offence known to the law,” she added.

Justice Jamil Hussin on Aug 15 last year allowed Muhyiddin’s application to strike out the charges and used his inherent powers to acquit the former prime minister.

Muhyiddin was charged with abusing his power as prime minister between Feb 8 and Aug 20, 2021 in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme by seeking to obtain RM232.5 million for Bersatu.

He pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him in the sessions court here before judge Azura Alwi on March 10.

The Pagoh MP was also slapped with three counts of money laundering amounting to RM200 million. In October, he applied to strike out the money laundering charges on the grounds that he had been cleared of the predicate abuse of power offences.

The matter will come up for case management before Azura in the sessions court on March 4.

Meanwhile, lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told reporters his client was “seriously considering” taking the matter to the Federal Court.

Muhyiddin was represented today by lawyers Amer Hamzah Arshad and K Kumaraendran. He is also represented by Rosli Dahlan and Chetan Jethwani.

Deputy public prosecutors Dusuki Moktar, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Ahmad Akram Gharib, Zander Lim and Poh Yih Tinn represented the prosecution.

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