KUALA LUMPUR: Former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid, who was once embroiled in a RM50.4mil criminal breach of trust charge followed by theft of evidence money in her case, is now a free woman.
The High Court here has given her a full acquittal instead of the discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) granted last year.
Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain, in her decision, said it was unfair to have the charge looming over Hasanah’s head.
Hasanah was seen crying and hugging another woman just after the proceedings ended.
She had pleaded not guilty to CBT involving US$12.1mil (RM50.4mil) belonging to the Malaysian government at the Sessions Court on Oct 25, 2018.
The 65-year-old was accused of committing 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, upon conviction.
However, the former director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) was granted a DNAA on April 12 last year, with the possibility of being charged again.
She was back in the news this year when it was reported that US$6mil (RM25.1mil) in cash confiscated from a condominium in 2018 over her CBT case had gone missing. It was believed that the stolen money had been replaced with counterfeit notes.
On Feb 18 this year, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior superintendent was sentenced by the Sessions Court to three years’ jail and two strokes of the cane for misappropriation of US$6.94mil (RM29.04mil) in cash evidence linked to Hasanah’s case.
Shahrum Nizam Baharuddin, 41, pleaded guilty to an alternative charge when the case came up for mention. He was ordered to serve the jail sentence from the date of arrest, which was Sept 13, 2021.
Hasanah’s lead counsel Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim argued yesterday that with the theft of the money, the case against her had collapsed.
He said the prosecution no longer had 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.
He said it has been more than a year without any new charges against Hasanah.
JC Roz Mawar said Justice Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh had rightfully granted the DNAA at that time.
“I have read what my learned brother said before (in his decision) and he was right by law to grant the DNAA because there is a likelihood of recharging.
“(However) based on the fact that the prosecution is not desirous to proceed, this court is going to grant an acquittal and discharge.
“It’s not fair for it to be hanging over her (Hasanah) head for more than a year.”