PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed an application by former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to hold his passport in order to travel overseas.
Judge Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, who led a three-member bench, said the High Court judge had exercised his discretion judiciously when imposing conditions for bail.
In January, judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali upheld the decision of a Sessions Court to impose bail of RM500,000 for Tengku Adnan, 69.
He also ordered the Putrajaya MP to surrender his passport to the court pending the disposal of his criminal trial.
Tengku Adnan was prepared to raise the bail amount to RM1 million but wanted to keep his passport so that he could travel freely to visit his children and attend to business affairs overseas.
Lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, who represented Tengku Adnan, said it is the law that bail is allowed to secure the attendance of an accused person during a criminal trial.
“Even though the political landscape has changed, the law on bail remains,” he said.
Tan added that his client had been forced to apply for his passport from the court every time he left the country and to then return the travel document.
He said he had gone overseas twice since being charged and returned home both times.
“He is not a flight risk, and the High Court judge misdirected himself in imposing the bail conditions,” he said.
Deputy public prosecutor Julia Rahim however said the judge had considered Tengku Adnan a potential flight risk, and that she had also submitted this point to Nazlan.
Last year, Tengku Adnan claimed trial to accepting a bribe and an alternative charge of accepting a bribe of RM1 million, for the approval of an application by a company to raise the plot ratio of a project in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur, in 2013.
He was charged with receiving for himself RM1 million from Tan Eng Boon via a Public Bank cheque belonging to Pekan Nenas Industries Sdn Bhd which was deposited into a CIMB Bank account belonging to him.
This was as a reward for approving an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to raise the plot ratio pertaining to development at Lot 228, Jalan Semarak.
He was charged under Section 16 (a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act with committing the offence at the Putra World Trade Centre branch of CIMB Bank Bhd, Jalan Tun Ismail on Dec 27, 2013.
He also faces an alternative charge for the same offence but under Section 165 of the Penal Code.