Charges of misusing position against Muhyiddin not discriminatory, High Court told

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 11 Jul 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: The four charges of misusing position to obtain bribes amounting to RM232.5mil for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia filed against former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin were not discriminatory in nature, the High Court here was told.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin submitted that this was because all the charges met Sections 152, 153, and 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code by stating the form of the charge, particulars as to time, place and person (accused), and the manner how the offence was committed.

He said Muhyiddin's rights according to Article 5 of the Federal Constitution had not been violated because the trial of the case had not started.

"All the allegations by the applicant (Muhyiddin) are premature and the action in applying to strike out the charges can be ruled as an unconstitutional action.

"At this stage, the applicant's rights under Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution are guaranteed because all procedures met existing laws, especially the CPC, which have been complied with by the prosecution as the respondent," he said.

Wan Shaharuddin was arguing on Muhyiddin's application to strike out the four charges made against him in the hearing before Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, who also appeared for the prosecution in the case, said since the beginning, the prosecution had given notice to the applicant that there was no obligation under the law for the respondent to state the manner of abuse of power committed by the applicant in the charges.

"The application (to strike the charges) by the applicant is an abuse of the court process and is based on a 'wrong premise of law' and 'misconception of law'.

"Therefore, the court cannot use its power to quash the charges under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act against the applicant," he said.

According to Ahmad Akram, all the charges that Muhyiddin was seeking to strike out clearly stated the elements of the offence under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009, that is, Muhyiddin, in his capacity as a public officer at the time, namely the prime minister, had used his position to obtain bribes of RM232. 5mil.

"At this stage, it is too early to say that the charges he is facing are flawed because the charges are complete in terms of Muhyiddin being the prime minister and president of Bersatu. The bribes he allegedly received are from three companies. We don't understand what else the applicant wants," he said, requesting the court to dismiss the application.

Muhyiddin's counsel Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, in his submission, said that all four charges of abusing position were bad in law and defective in nature as the respondent had failed to particularise how his client had allegedly committed the offences.

"All the charges are similarly worded, except for the dates, places, and amounts. To add to the above, it is both plain and obvious the concept of a fair process has been vitiated by an over-hasty and stage-managed prosecution where the basic elementary rules of fairness are not observed.

"We respectfully pray that these four charges proffered under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act be struck off as they disclosed no known offence in law and therefore are an abuse of process,” said Hisyam.

Judge Muhammad Jamil fixed Aug 15 to decide on Muhyiddin's application, which was filed last April 18.

Muhyiddin, 76, as the then prime minister and Bersatu president, was charged with using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM232.5mil from three companies, namely Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, and also from one Datuk Azman Yusoff, for the party.

He was charged with committing the offences at the Prime Minister's Office, Bangunan Perdana Putra, Federal Government Administration Centre in Putrajaya between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

In addition to the four charges, Muhyiddin is also faced with two charges of receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to

RM195mil from Bukhary Equity which was deposited into Bersatu's CIMB Bank account.

The Pagoh Member of Parliament, who is Perikatan Nasional chairman, was also charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court on March 13 with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM5mil and the case had been transferred to the Sessions Court here to be tried with the other cases. - Bernama

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Muhyiddin Yassin , corruption , bribes , Bersatu , charges


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