KUALA LUMPUR: Former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid has been granted an acquittal by the High Court from a criminal breach of trust charge involving US$12.1mil (RM50.4mil).
Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain, in her decision here on Tuesday (Aug 9), said it was unfair to leave the charge hanging over Hasanah's head.
Hasanah was previously granted discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), whereby there was a possibility for her to be charged again.
In today's proceedings, Hasanah is applying for the DNAA to be converted to a full acquittal.
JC Roz Mawar said the previous judge Justice Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh had rightfully granted the DNAA at that time in accordance to the law, as there was high probability for Hasanah to be re-charged.
"(However) based on the facts that the prosecution is no longer proceeding with the case, this court then granted a discharge and acquittal.
"It is unfair for her (Hasanah) that the charge is still hanging over her head for more than a year," she said, adding that justice was not carried out that way.
Earlier, the court heard from Hasanah's lead counsel Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim that it has been more than a year without any new charges against Hasanah.
He said the prosecution no longer have in possession the exhibit related to the charge.
"The subject matter is no longer there. So it is not wrong for the applicant to say that the prosecution's case has collapsed," he added.
Meanwhile, DPP Mohd Fairuz Johari said it was "unfit and inappropriate" for the court to grant the acquittal for Hasanah.
On April 12, last year, Hasanah was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by the High Court in the case.
Justice Ahmad Shahrir had said that the prosecution made an application not to further prosecute the accused and explained a new development that it discovered.
“In the circumstances, I find the prosecution has provided good and valid grounds in exercising his powers under the law to not further prosecute the accused," he said.
He noted that pursuant to Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution, the Attorney General (AG) had the power to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence and this power was exercisable at the AG’s discretion.
Hasanah, the former director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), pleaded not guilty to CBT involving US$12.1mil belonging to the Malaysian government at the Sessions Court on Oct 25,2018.
Hasanah, in her capacity as a civil servant, allegedly committed the offence at the office of the director-general of the Research Division of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9, 2018.
The charge under Section 409 of the Penal Code provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years, whipping and a fine, on conviction.
The case was transferred to the High Court and the prosecution’s trial began on Oct 6, 2020.
A total of 10 witnesses testified over a span of 10 days.