Former PM Muhyiddin’s bid to strike out four power of abuse charges set for July 11

THE High Court in Kuala Lumpur has set July 11 to hear former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s application to have the four abuse of power allegations against him dropped.

The date was set by criminal court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin during this morning’s discussion of the application.

The Pagoh MP was represented by counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik while the prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

The court had allowed the accused to be exempt from attending today’s open court proceedings.

Last month, the Perikatan Nasional chairman submitted an appeal to have the four abuse of power accusations against him dropped.

Muhyiddin claimed trial in the Sessions Court previously on four counts of abuse of power and three counts of money laundering involving approximately RM232 mil.

The Jana Wibawa programme is connected to the criminal case.

According to a copy of his affidavit in support of the notice of motion, Muhyiddin is seeking a court order for his discharge and acquittal from the four abuse of power charges.

Moreover, the applicant argued that the four charges are “defective and bad in law” because they lack particulars, in violation of Section 354 of the Criminal Procedure Code and so breached his fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

Muhyiddin added that the four charges do not reveal any wrongdoing under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act since the anti-graft statute did not intend the phrase “organisation” in the act to cover a society such as Bersatu.

The opposition party is named in the four abuse of power charges.
The four counts of power abuse are the predicate (primary) charges that are the focus of the striking-out application. The four predicate charges form the basis for the three money laundering counts.

The charges

According to news portal Malaysiakini, the four abuse of power charges laid under Section 23(1) of the MACC 2009 accused Muhyiddin of using his position as then-prime minister and Bersatu president to solicit RM232.5 mil from three corporations and an individual between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

The three firms are Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd, Mamfor Sdn Bhd and the individual in question is Datuk Azman Yusoff.

The Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act of 2001, along with Section 87(1) of the same Act, set forth the three money laundering charges.

Furthermore, the Bersatu president is accused of receiving over RM120 mil of proceeds from illegal activity from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd between Feb 25, 2021 and July 8, 2022.
The alleged money laundering was committed by accepting funds deposited into Bersatu’s account.

Muhyiddin faces 20 years in jail and a fine five times the amount of gratification involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher for the abuse of power charges.

In the money laundering case, he may face 15 years in prison and a punishment of five times the amount involved, or RM5 mil, whichever is higher.

According to the law, money laundering is the practise of changing cash, funds or other assets earned by illicit activity into something that appears to be legitimate. Cleaning ‘dirty’ money is the process of obscuring its illicit source. – May 31, 2023

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