KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin will apply to set aside three money laundering charges amounting to about RM200 million linked to the Jana Wibawa programme implemented by his administration.
The Perikatan Nasional chairman’s lead counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told sessions court judge Azura Alwi today the application will be filed as soon as possible.
“The application to set aside (the charges) will be made under Section 173(g) of the Criminal Procedure Code,” he said.
The provision allows a court to discharge an accused if it considers the charges brought to be groundless.
The matter was made known to the court by Muhyiddin’s defence team during a mention of the prosecution’s application for a joint trial of the abuse of power and money laundering cases which Muhyiddin is facing.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin informed Azura the High Court had allowed Muhyiddin’s application to strike out the four charges which alleged that he had abused his position to obtain bribes totalling RM232.5 million for Bersatu.
On Aug 15, Justice Jamil Hussin said the charges did not clearly disclose any offence known to law, and were not sufficiently clear to enable Muhyiddin, the Bersatu president, to prepare his defence.
“The charges are defective and I am using my inherent powers as there is abuse of process,” he said when acquitting the Pagoh MP.
Wan Shaharuddin said the prosecution is appealing that decision to the Court of Appeal.
He said a petition of appeal listing the judge’s alleged errors has already been filed in the appeals court and the matter has been fixed for case management on Sept 27.
Azura fixed the joint trial application for mention on Nov 29 pending an update of the proceedings in the Court of Appeal.
Muhyiddin was charged with abusing his power and violating Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla) here and in Shah Alam on March 10.
The charges involve two counts of obtaining RM195 million from Bukhary Equity, allegedly the proceeds of illegal activities, which was deposited into Bersatu’s CIMB Bank account.
Muhyiddin is alleged to have committed the offences at Menara CIMB KL Sentral at Jalan Stesen Sentral here between Feb 25 and July 16, 2021 and between Feb 8 and July 8, 2022.
On March 13, he was also charged in the Shah Alam sessions court with one count of receiving RM5 million from an illegal activity.
The case was later transferred to the sessions court here for a joint trial.