The MACC has clarified that the prosecution's move to withdraw 29 corruption charges against former Felda board member Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid was based on verified facts from further investigations.
The graft buster said the matter first started during the trial when Ehsanuddin (above) - a former one-term Umno MP for Kota Tinggi - presented his statement of defence under Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 and further investigations were then carried out.
"Based on new findings (obtained) through Ehsanuddin's new (defence) statement, the accused successfully proved that he had paid back the sum in question before the start of the (initial) investigation.
"A key witness also confirmed the matter (money) as advances," the MACC said in a statement.
The commission said it had referred the case back to the Attorney-General's Chambers as a decision was made to withdraw charges based on the latest developments.
"The decision was made because statements from the key witness were inconsistent," the MACC added.
The prosecution had informed the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on the withdrawal of all 29 charges against Ehsanuddin during a case trial on May 21 before Justice Suzana Hussin, the commission said.
Transparency International-Malaysia president Muhammad Mohan had previously urged MACC to clarify the decision which he said came as a shock to civil society groups.
According to Bernama, Ehsanuddin was previously charged with a total of 29 counts of bribery, all of which had been withdrawn yesterday resulting in his discharge and acquittal.
Fourteen of the charges were for allegedly accepting a bribe of RM23,540.68 in instalment payments for a BMW 3 Series car from printing company Karya Hidayah Sdn Bhd in 2014 and 2015.
Another 10 charges include receiving a bribe of RM50,000 and a piece of land from the same company in 2013 and 2014.
A total of 24 prosecution witnesses including bank officers and Companies Commission of Malaysia officials had testified since proceedings began in August 2019.