RM2m exceeds election spending limits, NGO C4 points out after court lets off Ku Nan

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This is after the Court of Appeal ruled that the RM2 million that former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor received in 2016 was a political donation for two by-elections.

The appellate court also quashed a lower court’s verdict finding Adnan guilty of corruption in receiving.

Under the Election Offences Act, the election spending limit per parliamentary constituency is RM200,000.

“This (RM2 million) is way past what is allowed for election spending.

“Where did the rest of the money go? How can he (Adnan) be let off?” Cynthia said in a tweet reacting to the ruling.

On Dec 21 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur found the Putrajaya MP guilty in the RM2 million graft case.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan had then meted out the 12-month jail sentence and RM2 million fine against the Umno lawmaker.

According to the charge, Adnan, in his capacity as a public servant, namely as then federal territories minister, was accused of having accepted for himself RM2 million from Chai Kin Kong, who is director of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas.

The cheque was later allegedly deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, in which the accused had an alleged interest when it was purported that Aset Kayamas had a connection with his official duties.

The Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 ruling overturned this decision.

While reading out the majority ruling, judge Suraya Othman said that the lower court failed to consider the prosecution’s own failure to re-examine its key star witness Chai’s admission that the RM2 million was meant as a political donation to Umno for the two-elections in 2016.

“The entire version of the prosecution’s case (against Adnan) was built on his (Chai) testimony.

“There was no suggestion by the prosecution that Chai was dishonest or untruthful, there was no attempt to impeach. The judge failed to consider that.

“We find such failure on such a critical point or issue amounted to misdirection, that rendered the conviction unsafe,” Suraya said.

Suraya said that this is strengthened by the prosecution’s failure to challenge its own star witness Chai’s testimony that he received a receipt on the RM2 million sent as political donation to Umno in 2016.

Meanwhile, in the dissenting ruling, judge Abu Bakar Jais said that the lower court had made the correct decision in convicting Adnan.

He described Adnan’s reliance on Chai’s testimony that the RM2 million was a political donation as “self-serving”. – Malaysiakini