Muhyiddin gets temporary release of passport to visit sick relative in Australia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here has allowed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin temporary access to his passport for him to visit a cancer-stricken family member in Australia.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi allowed the Bersatu president's application during case mention here on Wednesday (May 8) and added that the passport would be given to Muhyiddin through one of his lawyers on the same day.

She then said that the passport would be returned to the court on May 28.

Earlier, Muhyiddin's lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik made the oral application for the passport as his client intended to travel to Australia this Sunday to visit his 82-year-old sister who suffers from cancer.

"The applicant (Muhyiddin) will return to Malaysia on May 25. The passport shall be returned to the court on May 28, " Hisyam said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Asma Ahmad did not object to the application, saying that the applicant has a reasonable excuse.

Hisyam then applied for the main case - in which Muhyiddin is accused of abuse of power and money laundering - to be postponed pending the decision of a leave to review on the Court of Appeal's decision that reinstated the case to the Sessions Court.

The hearing at the Court of Appeal is fixed for July 9.

"We have filed the application for leave and asked for that application to be heard first," Hisyam said.

Nor Asma said the prosecution had received the notice of application via email on Tuesday (May 7) and would file an objection.

Azura then fixed June 13 to hear the application to postpone the proceedings for the main case.

On Feb 28, a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal reinstated the criminal case against Muhyiddin after his four charges of power abuse involving RM232.5mil were previously struck down by the High Court.

In allowing the prosecution's appeal, Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail, who chaired the panel, said in its unanimous decision that the High Court had erred in law when it ruled the charges were defective.

On Feb 15, 2023, Azura had granted the prosecution's application for a stay of proceedings of the money laundering case pending its appeal over the striking out of the abuse of power charges against the Bersatu president.

Muhyiddin, 76, was charged with using his position as the then Prime Minister and Bersatu president 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.

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