FORMER finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin and his family are seeking the High Court’s approval to expand their application for a judicial review of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into their financial affairs.
The family aims to include orders quashing criminal charges recently brought against Daim and his wife Toh Puan Naimah Khalid.
In an application filed on Wednesday (Jan 31), the family cited the necessity of seeking additional relief following the couple’s court charges at the end of last month.
Naimah faces charges related to the MACC Act 2009, alleging failure to declare ownership in various companies, plots of land and vehicles. Daim, charged under the same provision, is accused of not declaring ownership in multiple companies, land plots, properties, vehicles and bank accounts.
The charges carry potential penalties of up to five years in jail and a fine of RM100,000 upon conviction. The family pleading not guilty seeks to include the quashing of these charges in their judicial review.
Meanwhile, lawyer Alicia Sabrina Gomez argued that the proposed amendment would not cause injustice or embarrassment to the public prosecutor or MACC.
“In the event, the notices are declared void and quashed, the two charges which are predicated on non-compliance with those notices would similarly be void and bound to be quashed,” she said in the document sighted by FMT.
Moreover, the court papers have been served on the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The initial application for a judicial review was filed on Jan 11, asserting constitutional concerns over the MACC’s investigation into alleged money laundering and abuse of power, which the family claims began in February 2023.
Furthermore, the family expressed being in the dark about the nature of the investigation, relying only on news reports linking it to the Pandora Papers.
The application for leave was heard before Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh on Jan 16 with a ruling scheduled for March 4.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan opposed the leave application, contending that investigative bodies’ powers are not amenable to judicial review while lawyer Tan Sri Tommy Thomas argued that the investigation is legally flawed.
Thomas contended that the investigation is bad in law as both the MACC Act 2009 and Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, under which his clients are being investigated, only came into force after Daim had left public office. – Feb 2, 2023
Main photo credit: Malaysiakini