KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) had presented 13 reasons why the High Court should not have discharged former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin of four abuse of power charges in August.
In its petition filed with the Court of Appeal sighted by Malay Mail, it among others said the judge had erred from the law in making his decision, and that the manner in which it was done was not for the courts — especially when a charge has been preferred in accordance with the law against the respondent.
The AGC said the judge had prematurely dropped the charges against Muhyiddin without allowing the prosecution to bring forth witnesses and documents to prove their case, adding that it was an abuse of the court proceedings to do so.
“The judge’s use of his inherent powers to drop the case is an abuse of the judicial process and was premature especially since the trial had yet to start. The prosecution had yet to present their witnesses and documentation to support the case but the judge had decided to drop all charges against the accused.
“It was also erroneous to instruct the defendant to be released when the trial had yet to begin and we were still in the early stages of the proceedings thus the court had no time to listen to the issues we would raise and make a decision after that based on all the statements.
“The judge also did not give the prosecution the opportunity to amend the charges if it failed to state clearly how Muhyiddin used his position as prime minister to commit the offences. This matter could be rectified in the course of the prosecution’s case by amending the charges with the court’s permission,” it said.
Apart from that it also said the judge failed to recognise Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as an organisation according to the meaning of the term “associate” in Section 3 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.
It said although the party was registered under the 1966 Societies Act, it was still a registered association which makes it an organisation that is liable under the law.
“As such we ask that the decision by the High Court be set aside and the charges against the accused be brought back or any other instructions that the court deems fit,” it added.
The appeal was dated September 19, 2023 and was signed by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar.
On August 15 this year, High Court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed Muhyiddin’s application to strike out the four charges after he ruled that the charges were vague, flawed and unfounded. He subsequently acquitted and discharged the former prime minister. The prosecution then filed its notice of appeal on the same day.
Muhyiddin, 76, was charged with using his position as the then prime minister and Bersatu president to obtain bribes 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 August 20, 2021.
In addition to the four charges, Muhyiddin also faces two charges of receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM195 million from Bukhary Equity which was deposited into Bersatu’s CIMB Bank account.
The offences were allegedly committed at CIMB Bank Menara KL Branch, Jalan Stesen Sentral, here, between February 25 and July 16, 2021, and between February 8 and July 8, 2022.
He was also charged with one count of receiving RM5 million funds, from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd that were proceeds from unlawful activities at the Ambank Amcorp Mall branch in Jalan Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya, Selangor on January 7, last year. The funds were allegedly credited into the party’s Ambank account.