Ex-Johor exco man Latif Bandi, two others freed of graft charges

Former Johor housing and local government exco member Datuk Abd Latif Bandi (middle) his son Ahmad Fauzan Hatim (right) and property consultant Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub have been freed of all their corruption and money laundering charges.

JOHOR BARU: Former Johor housing and local government executive council member Datuk Abd Latif Bandi, his son and a property consultant have been freed of all their corruption and money laundering charges.

The Sessions Court here found that Abd Latif, 56; his son Ahmad Fauzan Hatim, 30; and Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub, 49, did not go against the law in their activities that involved bumiputra lots.

ALSO READ: Sessions Court postpones decision in ex-Johor exco man Latif Bandi's corruption trial

Judge Kamarudin Kamsun said the court found the defence has managed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case and acquitted and discharged the three of them.

“It was not an easy decision to come to.

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“But the court has looked at all the evidence presented such as witnesses, exhibits and the written and oral statements,” he said when reading his judgement on Sunday (Aug 7).

His judgement was met with a collective “Alhamdulillah” (thanks to God) that could be heard from the accused’s loved ones.

ALSO READ: High Court orders ex-Johor exco man Latif Bandi, two others to enter defence over corruption, money laundering charges

Abd Latif was charged with 33 counts of corruption and four counts of money laundering on June 14, 2017, following a land scandal that broke out in Johor about three months prior.

Amir Shariffuddin was also charged with 33 counts of corruption and 13 counts under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities (Amla) Act 2001, while Ahmad Fauzan Hatim was charged with four counts of money laundering.

Among the charges, Abd Latif was accused of having abetted Amir Shariffuddin to convert bumiputra lots into non-bumiputra lots.

The former lawmaker was also accused of helping to reduce the quantum of payment that developers had to contribute towards the Johor Housing Fund for converting these lots.

The defence was led by Datuk Salehuddin Saidin while the prosecution was led by Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

It was reported that Kamarudin acquitted them on April 21, 2019, after the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case.

However on Nov 7, 2021, the Johor Baru High Court ordered the three accused to enter their defence on the 37 counts of corruption and money laundering charges after finding the Sessions Court had erred in its decision to free and acquit them.

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