Former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has been given a discharged not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) in his RM1 million corruption case.
Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali issued the order during open-court proceedings this morning.
“The proceeding shall be stayed, and the accused shall be discharged from the same. Under Section 254 (3) of the CPC, such discharge shall not amount to an acquittal unless the court so direct based on case law. The question, however, is whether there are good grounds for the discharge not to amount to an acquittal.
“Having heard the submissions, in my view the reasons submitted by the learned deputy public prosecutor of a new development and the need to investigate the same is the basis that justifies this court not to order a full acquittal in accordance with Section 254 (3) of the CPC. As such, I order the accused be granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal,” the judge said.
Earlier, Julia said that today should have been fixed for the prosecution’s second witness, assistant registrar of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), Muhamad Akmaludin Abdullah to be cross-examined by the defence.
However, Julia said she had received a directive to seek an order for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on Tengku Adnan under Section 254 (1) pf the CPC and the prosecution at this stage was not continuing the case against the accused.
“There is a new development which needs to be investigated further. The prosecution also does not want to waste the court’s time, as we do not know the time needed to investigate this latest development.
“We cannot divulge the details. What can be told is that there is a complaint made to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on a witness in this case.
“Therefore, the prosecution seeks an order for the accused to be discharged not amounting to an acquittal of the charge,” said Julia, adding that whether the prosecution wished to continue with this charge or make another charge would be determined after completion of the further investigation.
She said the prosecution also had the power to stop the proceeding, and this would not be prejudicial or ill-intended against the accused.
“The prosecution also has no problem to inform the defence if they wish to know about the status of the investigation, whether it should continue or end,” she added.
However, defence counsel Tan Hock Chuan had countered that a discharge amounting to acquittal be granted instead.
The lawyer argued that it would be unfair for the accused to have the uncertainty of the charge hanging over his head, among others.
The lawyer pointed to recent high-profile corruption cases where acquittals were granted, such as the ones involving former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and former finance minister Lim Guan Eng.
Hock Chuan claimed that the present court can follow the trends shown by these cases.
The accused was calm in the dock as the ruling was issued.
When met outside court, Tengku Adnan, donning a navy-blue suit who came along with his wife, declined to comment and just offered a grin when prodded for a reaction.
He was alleged to have corruptedly received RM1 million from businessperson Tan Eng Boon.
The charge against him was under Section 24(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act. If convicted, he could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined five times the gratification amount received.
Eng Boon had previously pleaded guilty to an alternative count of abetting the lawmaker to allegedly commit the offence and was fined RM1.5 million.
Tengku Adnan has another RM2 million corruption case pending before a separate Kuala Lumpur High Court.
This matter is set for decision at the end of the defence on Dec 21.