MACC loses appeal against dismissal of forfeiture suit against Umno, seven others

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Government cannot forfeit millions given by Najib.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court’s decision to dismiss the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s RM193 million asset forfeiture case against Umno, Wanita MCA and six other parties.

Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail, in the appellate court’s ruling on behalf of the panel, said the prosecution had failed to prove that the money came from sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad by way of former prime minister Najib Razak.

The MACC had asserted that Umno was the recipient of RM2.5 million from former prime minister Najib Razak between 2012 and 2013.

Bernama

The decision affirmed Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan’s decision in June 2020 to dismiss the anti-graft agency’s attempts to seize assets under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla).

“The respondents had no knowledge, no reason to suspect the monies they received from Najib were proceeds from unlawful activities.

“We find the high court judge did not commit any error in law that warrants an appellate intervention. We affirm the order of the high court,” she said today.

Hadhariah was part of a three-member panel, led by Karim Abdul Jalil alongside Abu Bakar Jais.

The MACC was appealing high court verdicts in favour Habib Jewels (RM100,000), Kedah Umno (RM1.05 million), Umno headquarters (RM193 million), Wanita MCA (RM300,000), Binsabi Sdn Bhd (RM777,000), Perano Sdn Bhd (RM338,000) Hattatex Trading (RM112,000) and K&Z Enterprise Sdn Bhd (RM138,000).

In a separate matter, the court allowed the Pahang Umno liaison committee to challenge the high court decision it should forfeit RM2.48 million of its funds.

The money was seized by the MACC as part of its ongoing investigations into 1MDB in June 2019.

Latheefa Koya, the MACC chief at the time, said the anti-graft body had filed for civil forfeiture applications against 41 individuals to recover RM270 million allegedly transferred from Najib’s account. – TMI