Application for full acquittal not objected by DPP.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court today acquitted and discharged former director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid for criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) belonging to the Malaysian government, four years ago.
High Court Judicial Commissioner (JC) Roz Mawar Rozain made the ruling after allowing Hasanah’s application to free her of the charge, as it was not objected by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari.
“Based on the fact that the prosecution has no desire to conduct the case, Hasanah is acquitted and discharged from the charge under Section 409 of the Penal Code.
“It is unfair, hanging this over her head for over a year, and I don’t think justice is served that way,” ruled JC Roz Mawar.
The decision means Hasanah cannot be charged and tried again for the same offence under Section 409 of the Penal Code.
Earlier, Hasanah’s lawyer Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim submitted that last year, High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd had granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to his client, and until now, the prosecution was unable to proceed with the case against Hasanah.
“They are not able to proceed anymore as the main ingredient collapsed. Subsequently, another issue is, they no longer have the main exhibit which is involved in the charge. Subject matter is no longer present. It is not wrong for the applicant in this case to submit that the prosecution’s case has collapsed,” said Suhaimi.
On April 12, 2021, Judge Ahmad Shahrir granted DNAA to Hasanah after the prosecution applied not to continue with the case.
However, the prosecution indicated that Hasanah would be charged again in the future if there were new developments.
Judge Ahmad Shahrir said that when the DPP exercised his powers under Section 254 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code not to prosecute the accused further, it was the duty of the court under Section 254 (3) of the same law to consider whether the accused should be granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal or to be acquitted and discharged.
The trial commenced on Oct 6, 2020, whereby a total of 10 prosecution witnesses testified in the case.
On Oct 25, 2018, Hasanah, 65, pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing CBT amounting to US$12.1 (RM50.4 million) in funds belonging to the government when serving as the director-general of the Research Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.
She was charged with committing the offence at the office of the Research Division at the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) in Putrajaya, between April 30 and May 9, 2018.
The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping as well as a fine upon conviction.
Hasanah was represented by lawyers Suhaimi Ibrahim, Hamdan Hamzah, Ashraff Mohd Diah and Izwan Ariff Ibrahim.
Recently, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told the Dewan Rakyat that investigations against Hasanah were ongoing.
He said the delay was due to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) concurrent investigation against its own officer over missing case items related to Hasanah’s case.