Prosecutors to throw a wrench in Muhyiddin’s passport release request

PROSECUTORS have objected to his application for a permanent release of the former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s passport, which had been surrendered to the criminal court as part of his RM2 mil bail terms in an ongoing money laundering case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Asma Ahmad informed the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court that they require more time to respond to the Perikatan Nasional chairperson’s application.

“The notice of application was served on us on Oct 17. We will object to this application. We seek two weeks (to file the prosecution’s affidavit in response),” Nor Asma stated, leading the trial judge Azura Alwi to reschedule the hearing for Muhyiddin’s request to Nov 23.

Moreover, the trial judge directed the prosecution to file their affidavit by or on Nov 8, with any reply by the Pagoh MP’s legal team by or on Nov 17.

In Muhyiddin’s affidavit-in-support, he cited the need for his passport for a family holiday in London and a subsequent medical check-up in Singapore. He argued that the vacation was crucial as it allowed him to spend quality time with his family amid what he described as an exceptionally stressful year for them.

“It is a tradition where I will take my family on a month-long vacation every year. This year is no exception.

“This vacation is important because it allows me to spend time with my family as this year has been very stressful for both me and my family,” news portal New Straits Times quoted him as saying in the affidavit.

The Bersatu leader also outlined his travel plans, indicating that he intended to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai on Dec 15 with a layover until Dec 21, before departing for London on the same day. His stay in London was planned until Jan 10, 2024.

Furthermore, he mentioned his intention to undergo a heart examination through a stress test on a treadmill at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after his vacation.

Muhyiddin noted that the RM2 mil bail amount he posted was sufficient to guarantee his presence in court. He also highlighted his responsibility as a MP to serve his constituents.

Counsel K Kumaraendran and Chetan Jethwani comprised part of Muhyiddin’s legal team.

The legal battle stems from charges filed in March, where Muhyiddin pleaded not guilty to four counts of abuse of power and three money laundering charges involving RM232.5 mil.

Earlier on Oct 4, he filed for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal from the remaining three money laundering charges.

While Muhyiddin succeeded in nullifying four abuse of power charges against him linked to the Jana Wibawa programme resulting in a full acquittal on Aug 15, the prosecution has since filed an appeal to reverse the acquittal at the Court of Appeal. – Oct 25, 2023

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