MACC fails in forfeiture suit against Kasitah

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 25 Jul 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has dismissed a forfeiture suit for RM100,000 linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against former federal minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam.

Judicial Commissioner Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh in his ruling said it was not disputed that Kasitah had received the RM100,000 via a cheque dated Feb 2, 2012, that was issued from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s account.

Kasitah, as the respondent, had categorically maintained that the seized amount in his bank account was not the RM100,000 he received from Najib but consisted of his own pension payments as well as from other deposits.

“I find that, on the balance of probabilities, the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to show that the seized sum of RM100,000 in the respondent’s CIMB Bank Bhd account is, in fact, the proceeds of unlawful activity; whereas it is most probable in my mind that the respondent’s account balance inclusive of the seized sum of RM100,000 are part of the pension payment,” said Shahrir yesterday.

The court opined that the respondent did receive the sum from Najib on Feb 2, 2012, and when his account was frozen on June 25, 2018, – which was more than six years and four months later – a sizeable number of outgoing transactions from the respondent’s account had occurred.

“In relation to the present application, the money which is liable to forfeiture must be the very money which is the proceeds of an unlawful activity.

“The applicant merely shows the receipt for the RM100,000 in the respondent’s account but has not taken the most important step to show that the very RM100,000 which originated from Najib’s account being the proceeds of an unlawful activity,” Shahrir said before dismissing the suit.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Maziah Mohaide from the MACC said the prosecution would be filing a stay application on the High Court’s ruling.

Lawyers Sasila Basri and Samilah Ab Wahab represented Kasitah, who was the Land and Co-operatives Development Minister between 1999 and 2004.

In June last year, former MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the MACC had filed civil forfeiture suits against 41 respondents to forfeit about RM270mil allegedly linked to the 1MDB fund scandal and received by the respondents from Najib.

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