Arrest warrant issued for ex-intel chief after no-show in court

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

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here issued an arrest warrant for former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid after she failed to appear for case proceeding today.

Hasanah was charged last October with criminal breach of trust involving RM50.4 million belonging to the government.

At the time the crime was allegedly committed, she was the director-general of the research division of the prime minister’s department.

Hasanah’s lawyer, Shaharudin Ali, said his client’s absence in court today was due to a misunderstanding.

Speaking to FMT, Shaharudin said today’s case proceeding was only to seek new dates for Hasanah’s case.

“We did not expect the deputy public prosecutor to come down hard and demand my client’s arrest,” he said, adding that to him, it seemed a trivial matter.

“I think it was an honest mistake on the part of my client, thinking that there was no need to attend court for the case management,” he said.

Shaharudin added that his firm’s lawyer had been present in his place as he was attending a royal commission of inquiry today.

He also said he had previously written to the former chief justice, Richard Malanjum, asking for clarification on the need for accused parties to attend court for case management.

“Case management is for lawyers to seek dates for court cases. To me, there is no need for our clients to attend as it is an administrative matter. It’s not a hearing.”