Muhyiddin appeals to Federal Court over restoration of four power abuse charges

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s restoration of four abuse of power charges against him.

When contacted by Malay Mail, Muhyiddin’s lawyer Chetan Jethwani confirmed that the appeal was submitted to the Federal Court yesterday.

The High Court had in August last year acquitted Muhyiddin of all four abuse of power charges, after ruling in favour of his application to strike them out.

However, the Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel this Wednesday unanimously reversed the High Court’s decision, with the effect being that Muhyiddin would have to face trial at the Sessions Court over the four restored charges.

Muhyiddin’s appeal to the Federal Court is against the entire Court of Appeal decision, including its view that the four charges are clear and ambiguous, and that there was no need for the prosecution to give further details on how the alleged offences were carried out.

The Court of Appeal also viewed the High Court to have erred in deciding the four charges against Muhyiddin do not disclose an offence known in law, but Muhyiddin is also appealing against this.

The Sessions Court is scheduled to hold a case management on March 4 (next Monday), where lawyers were expected to provide updates to the court on the appeal at the Court of Appeal.

The prosecution had last month succeeded in obtaining a stay or pause of court proceedings at the Sessions Court, until the Court of Appeal decides on the prosecution’s appeal against the striking out of the four charges and the acquittal of Muhyiddin.

The court proceedings that were paused at the Sessions Court included the hearing of Muhyiddin’s application to have his three remaining charges (for money laundering) set aside. Muhyiddin’s lawyers had wanted the court to set aside his three remaining charges since the four charges had been struck out.

The four charges alleged that Muhyiddin used his position as Malaysia's then prime minister and as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president to obtain bribes totalling RM232.5 million from three companies and one individual (Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd, Mamfor Sdn Bhd and Azman Yusoff) for his "associate", namely his party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. He was alleged to have committed these offences during the March 2020 to August 2021 period.

The four abuse of power charges were brought under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

As for the three money laundering charges against Muhyiddin, he is alleged to have committed such offences by receiving proceeds from unlawful activities totalling RM200 million from Bukhary Equity which were deposited into two Bersatu bank accounts between the February 2021 to July 2022 period.