KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution has sought a joint trial of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s four abuse of power and three money laundering charges in the interest of justice and to save judicial time.
Presently, six of the seven charges are pending in one of the two sessions courts here, while one money laundering charge is before the other court.
In a notice of motion filed last Thursday for one sessions court judge to preside over the entire matter, the prosecution said the seven charges involve the same documents and witnesses.
“A joint trial of all the charges is for the interest of justice and will save the court’s time,” documents filed in court, sighted by FMT, said.
The prosecution also said the four abuse of power charges are closely connected to the three money laundering charges.
It said the law also required a joint trial to be held in these cases as the prosecution must first prove the abuse of power charges which are the predicate offences.
It added that the three money laundering charges will automatically fall should the prosecution fail to establish a prima facie case on the four abuse of power charges.
Sessions court judge Azura Alwi last Friday gave lawyers for Muhyiddin until June 30 to reply.
She has also set Aug 4 for the next mention of the case, in light of Muhyiddin’s two pending applications before the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Bersatu president and Perikatan Nasional chairman, has filed an application to transfer the matter from the sessions court to the High Court, which will come up for case management on May 31.
Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the defence will object to a joint trial in the lower court.
Muhyiddin has also made another application to strike out the money laundering charges. The application has been fixed for case management on June 12.
The abuse of power charges, framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, accuse Muhyiddin of using his position as then prime minister and Bersatu president to induce a payment of RM232.5 million by three companies and an individual to his party between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.
The companies are Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd while the individual is businessman Azman Yusoff.
Muhyiddin is also charged with three counts of money laundering amounting to RM200 million allegedly committed here and in Petaling Jaya.