JOHOR BARU: The High Court here has denied an application for the early release of Johor state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi, who is remanded for investigations into a massive land and housing scandal in the state.
The team of lawyers, led by Abd Rahim Ali, had filed an application for Abdul Latif to be released before the end of the remand period on Thursday.
They claimed that Abdul Latif had not been informed of the reason for his remand when he was brought to court on March 10 and should be released.
High Court judge Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak struck out the request, stating that it was not a requirement for reasons to be given.
Abdul Latif, who was the state Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, had been detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on March 9 to aid investigations into the land and housing scandal.
He has opted to go on leave pending an investigation into the case.
Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib objected to the application and argued that the lawyers’ request had no merit.
After the proceedings, Abdul Latif, wearing an orange lockup T-shirt, was brought out of the court by MACC officers.
A large group of men, believed to be Abdul Latif’s supporters, chanted “Allahuakbar” (God is Great) as they moved out of the court building.
They put up their arms in attempts to shield Abdul Latif from the cameramen and reporters present.
His wife and one of his children were seen leaving the courtroom before him.
Shortly after Abdul Latif’s arrest, MACC officers seized an array of items at his home in Johor, including 150 luxury handbags, RM41,000 in cash and a luxury vehicle.
His arrest came after the arrest of six individuals, including his son and his special officer, by MACC in relation to the same case, which reportedly involved kickbacks of tens of millions of ringgit dating back to 2013.