Ex-intel chief seeks to lift freeze on bank account

Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid has filed an originating summons challenging the freeze on her bank account since September last year.

Hasanah, who is facing a criminal breach of trust (CBT) charge, filed the legal action on March 28, naming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the government as respondents.

She is seeking a declaration order that the freeze on her bank account issued by the MACC deputy public prosecutor on Sept 3, 2018, is null and void.

She is also seeking a declaration that Section 37(1) of the MACC Act in relation to the freezing of her account contravenes Articles 5 and 13 of the Federal Constitution and should be declared null and void as well.

Section 37(1) allows the public prosecutor to direct a bank to freeze any account based on information given to him.

In an affidavit of support filed with the originating summons, Hasanah claimed that MACC had not informed her about the prohibitory order on her bank account during her remand period from Aug 29, 2018 until she was released on Sept 3 the same year.

She only found out when her banking transactions failed while she was trying to make a transaction on Sept 4.

She said she contacted the MACC investigating officer for further clarification on her bank account and was told that the account would be temporarily frozen according to normal MACC investigation procedures.

She said five letters were sent to MACC between Oct 9 and Dec 18, 2018, appealing to the commission to lift the freeze on her bank account.

However, she claimed that she received a letter from the MACC Investigation Division on Dec 6, saying that her application could not be considered.

Hasanah said she is finding it difficult to support herself as she depends solely on the pension money credited into the account and has no other source of income.

Lawyer Nur Aifaa Mohd Zain, representing Hasanah, told reporters yesterday that the originating summons against MACC and the government was fixed for case management before High Court deputy registrar Idamasliza Maarof, who fixed May 17 for further case management.

The proceedings in chambers was also attended by deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad and Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal, acting for MACC.

On Oct 25 last year, Hasanah pleaded not guilty to a CBT charge of misappropriating US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) in funds belonging to the government.