The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed MACC’s application to stay the return of RM1.15 million to Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd.
The prosecution had sought the stay pending disposal of their appeal at the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s earlier decision to reject its 1MDB-linked forfeiture suits against both entities.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismissed the application during open-court proceedings this morning, following submissions by the legal representatives for the prosecution as well as for Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels.
On April 21, it was reported that MACC has not returned the RM1.05 million and RM100,000 to Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels respectively, pending the hearing of its stay application before the High Court.
On Dec 13 last year, Mohd Nazlan dismissed the prosecution’s 1MDB-linked forfeiture suits against Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels.
Three days later, the prosecution filed an appeal against the said verdict at the Court of Appeal.
Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels are among 41 local groups, companies, and individuals targeted in a MACC suit that seeks the forfeiture of RM270 million that allegedly originated from 1MDB.
In delivering a brief oral decision today, Mohd Nazlan ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove special circumstances to warrant the stay application in both matters involving Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels.
The judge noted that appeal against the High Court’s Dec 13 verdict alone does not justify the stay application.
In relation to the prosecution’s stay application against the return of the RM1.05 million to Kedah Umno, Mohd Nazlan said that it (prosecution) failed to prove that the respondent (Kedah Umno) would be unable to surrender the money back to the MACC in the event that the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, among others.
“The applicant (prosecution) failed to demonstrate any special circumstances to justify the stay.
“The appeal at the Court of Appeal is not a reason for such a stay.
“(There is) No support (evidence by the prosecution) on possible dissipation of the money (RM1.05 million) by the respondent (Kedah Umno) or the inability of the respondent to return the money if the appeal (at the Court of Appeal) is allowed,” Mohd Nazlan said.
In relation to the stay application against the return of the RM100,000 to Habib Jewels, the judge noted that the respondent (Habib Jewels) could still surrender the sum to MACC in the event that the appeal is allowed by the Court of Appeal.
“If the appeal is successful, the applicant (prosecution) can easily be compensated.
“The respondent (Habib Jewels) has shown that it is financially capable of paying back the RM100,000 in the event that the applicant’s appeal is successful.
“The applicant has not rebutted the evidence by the respondent on its (Habib Jewels) financial capability,” Mohd Nazlan said.
DPP Abdul Rashid Sulaiman appeared for the prosecution. Counsel G Nadaraja and Gooi Yang Shuh appeared for Kedah Umno and Habib Jewels respectively. – Malaysiakini