First day of Abdul Azeez and brother’s corruption trial does not kick off.
Former Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and his brother, Abdul Latif, had the first day of their corruption trial today vacated to allow the former to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Following an application by Azeez’s lawyer, Hisham Teh Poh Teik, Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi agreed to postpone the trial to tomorrow.
“Abdul Azeez is needed in the Dewan Rakyat after it was made compulsory for all government lawmakers to be present today, when the finance minister tables the Temporary Measures for Reducing The Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Bill 2020 for its second reading,” Hisyam was quoted as saying.
Deputy public prosecutors Aslinda Ahad and Nik Haslinie Hashim did not raise any objections.
Azura then allowed the application and vacated today’s proceedings. She ordered that proceedings start tomorrow at 9am with the first witness to take the stand.
On January 16 last year, Azeez was charged with three counts of allegedly receiving bribes totalling RM5.2 million over road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering involving more than RM140 million.
On the same day, Latif was charged with two counts of allegedly abetting Azeez in committing the offences.
A total of nine prosecution witnesses will be called to testify in the case.
The graft charges against Azeez were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which carries a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine of up to five times the value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
The money laundering charges were filed under Section 4(1)(b) of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001, which provides an imprisonment for up to 15 years and fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds obtained or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if found guilty.