Daim, family's bid to challenge MACC probe rejected

KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has failed in his bid to obtain leave to commence judicial review over the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) probe into his family.

In his broad judgment, High Court judge Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh said that Daim's contention against the MACC should be addressed by a criminal application and not a judicial review.

The court also found that Daim and his family had failed to establish mala fide (bad faith) in the investigation into his family.

He further said that a mere suspicion of mala fide was insufficient and that the issuance of notices, seizure of assets, and freezing accounts by the anti-graft body during the investigation was not done in bad faith.

As a general rule, the judge said an exercise of power in the course of a criminal investigation was not open to judicial review under Order 53 of the Rules of Court.

“In short, the threshold is not crossed," said Justice Wan Ahmad Farid here on Monday.

On Daim's allegations that the investigation against him was politically motivated, Justice Wan Ahmad Farid said it was an issue that should be addressed at the criminal trial.

Daim and his wife, Toh Puan Na'imah Abdul Khalid's attempt to quash their prosecution should also be made by way of a criminal application, and they should now be allowed to do so since they have been charged at the Sessions Court.

“The application for leave is refused. There shall be no order as to costs,” Justice Wan Ahmad Farid said.

On Jan 10, Daim and his family filed an application for leave to commence judicial review against MACC's probe on them.

In the application, Daim and Na'imah named the MACC and the public prosecutor as the first and second respondents, respectively.

Apart from Daim and Na'imah, other applicants were their four children - Asnida, Md Wira Dani, Muhammed Amir Zainuddin, Muhammed Amin Zainuddin, as well as Ilham Tower.

They want a court declaration that MACC's actions were unlawful, unconstitutional and void, among others.

According to the notice of application, they are seeking a declaration that the MACC and its officers have no reasonable cause for the investigation, which would lead to a prosecution for any offence under the MACC Act 2009 or the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

They sought a declaration that even if any charges were to be instituted against them, such charges would be unconstitutional and void because they would not receive a fair trial.

The family also wants an order of certiorari against the MACC and its officers to quash all investigations as well as an order of prohibition to cease all further investigations.

Daim and his family also sought to have their properties, assets, and monies that were seized returned to them.

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