PETALING JAYA: The attorney-general this evening cited the inability to obtain vital documentary evidence from Hong Kong as among the reasons for freeing former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman of his 46 corruption and money laundering charges.
Idrus Harun said the documents were needed to prove a case of such nature.
He said documentary evidence from companies and banks, which were expected, could not be obtained through the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters ordinance from Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Department of Justice, he said, advised that companies and banks there were only required to keep records for seven years.
It was highly unlikely that either the banks or the companies would still have the records, he said.
“Apart from that, there are witnesses for the prosecution who have passed away, suffered serious medical ailments or are not in Malaysia anymore.
“This recent development including the aforesaid affidavit in support that was filed has caused a situation wherein it is no longer tenable to continue with the prosecution of Tan Sri Musa Aman,” Idrus said in a statement, referring to the affidavit to strike out the application against all of Musa’s charges affirmed by former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.
He said the decision was strengthened by a letter dated Dec 22, 2011 from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) stating that its investigation against Musa was complete.
The ICAC also said it would not pursue further investigative action “on the basis of known facts”.
“My decision is taken in accordance with powers exercisable at my discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution,” Idrus added.
Earlier today, the Kuala Lumpur High Court freed Musa of the corruption and money laundering charges in relation to timber concessions in Sabah.
This came after the prosecution, represented by deputy public prosecutor Azhar Abdul Hamid, said it was withdrawing all charges against Musa.
Musa, who was chief minister from 2003 to 2018, claimed trial to 35 corruption charges on Nov 5, 2018. Of these, five were subsequently dropped.
He was accused of receiving bribes of between US$28,500 and US$16,148,547 from various individuals 12 to 16 years ago.
He was also slapped with 16 money laundering charges for allegedly receiving US$37 million from various individuals and companies from June 2006 to March 2008.
Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.