Muhyiddin wants five-member appeals court panel to hear bid to restore acquittal

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin requested, on Tuesday (April 16), that a five-member Court of Appeal panel to hear his final legal bid to restore his discharge and acquittal (DAA) on four abuse of power charges relating to the Jana Wibawa scandal.

However, the court then directed Muhyiddin's defence team to write to Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim for his consideration, Malay language daily Sinar Harian reported.

The Court of Appeal also fixed July 9 to hear the matter and set the same date to hear the prosecution's preliminary objections and issues of merit related to the case.

Sinar Harian also reported that following this, the respondents (prosecution) must file their affidavit by April 26 and Muhyiddin must reply before May 10.

Muhyiddin's lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik confirmed the latest developments when contacted by Sinar Harian after the proceedings.

On March 27, Muhyiddin had filed an application seeking leave from the Court of Appeal to review its decision reinstating four abuse of power charges involving RM232.5mil against him.

On Feb 28, the court's three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail reinstated the four charges previously struck out by the High Court.

In the notice of motion, Muhyiddin is seeking for the Court of Appeal to set aside its previous order and restore the Aug 15 decision of the High Court that struck out the four charges and acquitted and discharged him.

The Bersatu president said the decision of the Court of Appeal was a nullity or illegality as it was made without the jurisdiction as required under Section 50(1) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

Muhyiddin, 76, who is also Perikatan Nasional chairman, was charged with using his position as prime minister at that time to obtain bribes amounting to RM232.5mil from three companies, namely Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, and one Datuk Azman Yusoff for the party.

He is accused of committing the act at the Prime Minister's Office, Bangunan Perdana Putra in Putrajaya between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

He also faces two charges of receiving money from illegal activities amounting to RM195mil from Bukhary Equity which was deposited into Bersatu's CIMB Bank account.

He allegedly committed the offence at CIMB Bank Menara KL Branch, Jalan Stesen Sentral between Feb 25 and July 16, 2021, and between Feb 8 and July 8, 2022.

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