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Muhyiddin trying to delay trial, says prosecution

Publish date: Fri, 24 May 2024, 05:28 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Prosecutors on Friday called out former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s attempt to delay the start of his abuse of power charges and money-laundering trial.

Muhyiddin requested a stay of proceedings at the Sessions Court before judge Azura Alwi, while his lawyers attempt to get the Court of Appeal to review its own decision to reinstate the four abuse of power charges against him.

In an affidavit filed with the Sessions Court objecting to the stay, deputy public prosecutor Zander Lim said that the reasons given by Muhyiddin do not constitute “exceptional or unusual” reasons.

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He argued that a stay was not warranted as there is no “compelling reason” and it would not serve public interest in staying the trial while the review is being considered at the Court of Appeal.

“This is an attempt by the applicant (Muhyiddin) to delay this case from being heard at this esteemed court,” Zander said.

Since Muhyiddin was charged in the Sessions Court, the appeal against his charges can only go up to the Court of Appeal as the highest court. In February, the Court of Appeal quashed a decision from the High Court to strike out his charges.

Lim stressed that the Court of Appeal’s decision is final and is not subject to appeal at the country’s apex court, the federal court.

“I verily state that the application is one that is frivolous and is an abuse of court process, because the reasons stated by the applicant have no basis and there is no exceptional circumstance in which the Court of appeal needs to review its decision,” he said.

In April, the Court of Appeal allowed Muyiddin to have a bench of five judges to hear the application set to begin on July 9. The review can only begin if the application is allowed.

Muhyiddin, 76, who is also Perikatan Nasional's chairman, was charged with using his position as then prime minister to obtain bribes amounting to RM232.5 million from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, Nepturis Sdn Bhd and Mamfor Sdn Bhd as well as Datuk Azman Yusoff for the party.

He is accused of committing the act at the Prime Minister's Office, Bangunan Perdana Putra in Putrajaya, between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

He also faces two charges of receiving money from illegal activities amounting to RM195 million from Bukhary Equity which was deposited into Bersatu's CIMB Bank account.

He allegedly committed the offence at CIMB Bank Menara KL Branch, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, between Feb 25 and July 16, 2021, and between Feb 8 and July 8, 2022.

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