Muhyiddin freed of four counts of power abuse involving RM232.5 million
KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court here acquitted and discharged former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today of four charges of abusing his position to obtain bribes totalling RM232.5 million.
Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin ruled that the four charges were vague, flawed and unfounded because they did not specify the details of the offences committed.
"Therefore, the court allowed the applicant's (Muhyiddin) application to strike out all four charges. With this, the applicant is acquitted and discharged," he said.
Muhyiddin was charged with using his position as the then Prime Minister and Bersatu president to obtain bribes from three companies, namely Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, and also from one Datuk Azman Yusoff, for the party.
He was charged with committing the offences at the Prime Minister's Office, Bangunan Perdana Putra, Federal Government Administration Centre in Putrajaya between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.
On April 18, Muhyiddin, 76, who is also Perikatan Nasional chairman, filed an application to quash the four charges under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act that were brought against him on March 10.
In his brief judgement, Judge Muhammad Jamil said the court has the power to set aside or cancel the charges and suspend the charges permanently.
"The court found that Muhyiddin was accused of an offence that was not provided for under the law. The four charges were flawed because they did not disclose any offence under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act, which is an injustice.
"The four charges also did not contain the details of how the offences were committed, as provided under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code," he said.
The judge said from the court's point of view, the offence of using office or position for gratification under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act pertains to the accused's decision-making or actions regarding a certain matter, like in the prosecution of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who was charged under the same law.
Muhammad Jamil said the court disagreed with the deputy public prosecutor that there was no need to state in the charges how the applicant had used his position as it can be proven through evidence during the trial.
In addition to the four charges, Muhyiddin also faces two charges of receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM195 million from Bukhary Equity which was deposited into Bersatu's CIMB Bank account.
The offences were allegedly committed at CIMB Bank Menara KL Branch, Jalan Stesen Sentral, here, between Feb 25 and July 16, 2021, and between Feb 8 and July 8, 2022.
The Pagoh Member of Parliament was also charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court on March 13 this year with receiving money from illegal activities amounting to RM5 million. The case has been transferred to the Sessions Court here for a joint trial.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Ahmad Akram Gharib and Poh Yih Tinn, while Muhyiddin was represented by lawyers Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Amer Hamzah Arshad, Rosli Dahlan, Datuk K. Kumaraendran and Chetan Jethwani.
Wan Shaharuddin, who is also MACC Legal and Prosecution Division senior director, when met said an appeal would be filed this afternoon in response to the court's decision.
Asked about the three other charges facing Muhyiddin, he said the prosecution would apply in the Sessions Court for the case hearing to be postponed during mention on Sept 19.
"As of now, we only receive an instruction to seek for the postponement of the case pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal," he said. - BERNAMA