KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court will decide on Monday on an application to temporarily release the passport belonging to former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman to enable him to continue his treatment overseas.
Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayub fixed the date after hearing arguments from Musa’s lawyer Amer Hamzah as well as deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran.
Musa claimed trial in November last year to 35 corruption charges related to timber concessions, brought under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.
The offences were said to have been committed 10 to 14 years ago, in Singapore and in Hong Kong, with transactions ranging from US$28,500 to US$16,148,547, amounting to a grand total of RM263 million.
If found guilty, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of RM10,000 or up to five times the bribes allegedly received, whichever amount is higher.
Musa surrendered his passport to the court as a condition for his bail.
When met outside court later, Amer told reporters that Musa’s reason for going overseas was to continue his medical treatment, which was stopped when he decided to come back to the country to assist in investigations.
Musa had been undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom and Singapore prior to being charged in court.
“As soon as he returned to Malaysia, he got in touch with the authorities to assist in investigations. As a result, he could not continue his ongoing treatment in the UK.
“Subsequently, he was charged. Now is the right time to apply for the temporary release of his passport to continue his treatment, as the case is now in court.
“So the court has heard our arguments, and it will decide on the application on Monday,” he said.
Amer said the prosecution objected to the application on the grounds that there was a possibility that Musa might tamper with witnesses.
“We stated that this allegation by the prosecution was baseless and not supported by any proof that showed he might tamper with witnesses, or that he would not return to Malaysia.
“On the contrary, we showed the court that Tan Sri himself wanted to come back when he was undergoing treatment overseas, to assist in investigations. We have confirmation from the doctor that Musa wanted to come back even when he was advised against it, due to his health condition.
“As soon as he returned to Malaysia, we got in touch with MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and the police to assist in investigations and informed them of his condition,” he said.
At all material times, Amer said, Musa had cooperated with the authorities and informed them of his whereabouts.
“Hence, there is no issue of him trying to run away or tamper with witnesses,” he said.
Amer added that Musa also had a pending appeal on the case concerning his status as the rightful Sabah chief minister.
The High Court dismissed Musa’s legal bid to be declared the rightful Sabah Chief Minister after he was dismissed by Juhar Mahiruddin, who appointed Shafie Apdal on May 12.
Meanwhile, Musa avoided questions from reporters on the whereabouts of his son Yamani Hafez Musa, which, as of today, remains unknown.
Yamani has yet to be sworn in as Sipitang MP. He is scheduled to take his oath in the Dewan Rakyat this Monday.