Jana Wibawa graft case: Former PM Muhyiddin’s defence to be led by Hisyam Teh

FORMER prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has recruited lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik to lead a defence team established to fight abuse of power and money laundering charges stemming from his administration’s Jana Wibawa initiative.
Muhyiddin has chosen Chetan Jethwani & Co. as his official solicitors.

“Yes, he (Hisyam) has been roped in to lead Muhyiddin’s defence team,” lawyer Chetan Jethwani told Free Malaysia Today in a text message.

Muhyiddin Yassin

Hisyam, who has been practising criminal law for approximately 40 years, was reportedly appointed last month. Twelve other counsel will be assisting him in the case.

He is also lead counsel in deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption cases.

On Sept 23, 2022, Zahid was acquitted of 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 mil (RM42 mil) without his defence being called. The case involved the home ministry’s foreign visa (VLN) system. He was the home minister at the time.

The Shah Alam High Court’s ruling has been appealed by the prosecution to the Court of Appeal.

The UMNO president still faces 35 charges in the Kuala Lumpur High Court for money laundering and criminal breach of trust involving millions from Yayasan Akalbudi and for accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as the home minister.

Zahid has so far invited six witnesses to testify in the case after being compelled to enter his defence last year.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also made a brief appearance on Hisyam’s behalf during his final appeal to the Federal Court following his conviction and sentencing in the SRC International corruption case.

After his application to have the main appeal adjourned was denied, the lawyer attempted to discharge himself.

Meanwhile, earlier on Aug 23, 2022, the apex court affirmed Najib’s conviction and the 12-year jail term and RM210 mil fine imposed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in July 2020.

Hisyam will attend a case management on Monday as a result of Muhyiddin’s request to have the four counts of abuse of authority dropped, according to another member of the defence team who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Muhyiddin is requesting that all accusations against him be dropped. He submitted the application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on April 19.

Alternatively, the Bersatu president requests that all proceedings in the Sessions Court, where he was charged, be stayed pending the outcome of the striking out application.

“The charges did not disclose any offence under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009,” said Muhyiddin.

The Pagoh MP added the charges were also an abuse of process as they lacked particulars as to how he abused his power as the prime minister between March 2020 and August 2021.

The charges are in relation to the Jana Wibawa programme, which was allegedly used to secure RM232.5 mil for Bersatu. — May 4, 2023

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