KUALA LUMPUR: Former Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim was on Friday (Sept 23) given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by the Sessions Court on nine charges, comprising three for corruption and six for money laundering, in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah.
Judge Azura Alwi made the ruling after deputy public prosecutor Aslinda Ahad requested the court to discharge without acquitting the Baling Member of Parliament under Section 254 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code following a representation submitted by Abdul Azeez.
"The court opines that every case needs to be differentiated based on facts and the main issue is the discretionary power under Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code whether a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) or discharge amounting to an acquittal (DAA) order should be given against the accused.
"In exercising that power, the court needs to balance public interest and the rights of the accused as provided under the Federal Constitution.
"Therefore, the court orders that the accused be released without being acquitted of the charges," he said when the case came up for mention.
Abdul Azeez, 55, faced three charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM5.2mil and six charges of money laundering in the amount of RM972,414.60, in relation to road projects in Perak and Kedah.
All the acts were allegedly committed at CIMB Bank, Jalan Tun Perak; Maybank Islamic Bhd, Jalan Maarof in Bangsar Baru; Affin Bank at Jalan Raja Chulan; and Affin Bank in Pusat Bandar Puchong and Kampung Attap between Sept 6, 2010 and April 10, 2018.
Abdul Azeez is charged under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and Section 28(1)(c) of the same Act punishable under Section 24(1) which provides for a maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe upon conviction.
For the charges of money laundering, the accused is charged in accordance with Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which is punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act.
The trial began on Aug 19, 2020 with seven prosecution witnesses called to testify.