Law doesn’t allow Muhyiddin to appeal to apex court

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Over the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn Muhyiddin’s acquittal.

Bernama

The law does not allow Muhyiddin Yassin to lodge an appeal with the Federal Court when the main case is at the Sessions Court, according to a member of the prosecution team.

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told this to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court during this morning’s mention of the abuse of power and money laundering case against the former prime minister.

The prosecutor was giving notice of the prosecution team’s intention to raise preliminary objection against the defence team’s bid to apply to stay the lower court’s proceedings, pending the appeal at the apex court.

Wan Shaharuddin told Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi that the main criminal case is at the Sessions Court and, thus is limited by Section 87 of the Courts of Judicature Act (CJA).

Traditionally, due to the provision, any appeals arising from a matter at the Sessions Court can only go up through the High Court and finally to the Court of Appeal.

The CJA provision also states that only appeals arising from matters at the High Court could go up to the Court of Appeal and finally the Federal Court.

On Feb 28, the Court of Appeal quashed a Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling that discharged and acquitted Muhyiddin from four counts of abuse of power linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

However, the following day, the Pagoh MP filed an appeal to the Federal Court.

Wan Shaharuddin told Azura that the reasons for Muhyiddin’s appeal to the apex court are unknown in law and go against Section 87 of CJA.

However, Muhyiddin’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik countered that the appeal can be made to the Federal Court, as the appeal heard by the Court of Appeal was over a review bid heard at the High Court, which by itself is not an appeal against a Sessions Court ruling.

Azura then set April 3 for mention of the case.

In March last year, before the Sessions Court, Muhyiddin claimed trial to four counts of abuse of power and three money laundering charges involving RM232.5 million linked to Jana Wibawa.

The four abuse of power charges, framed under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009, accused him of using his position as then prime minister and Bersatu president for an inducement of RM232.5 million from three companies and an individual, between March 1, 2020, and Aug 20, 2021.

The three companies are Bukhary Equity, Nepturis Sdn Bhd, and Mamfor Sdn Bhd, while the individual in question is Azman Yusoff.

The three money laundering charges were laid out under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amlatfpuaa) – read with Section 87(1) of the same act.

The 77-year-old was accused of abusing his powers for Bersatu to receive RM125 million in proceeds from illegal activity from Bukhary Equity – between Feb 25, 2021, and July 8, 2022.

The charges did not allege that payment was made to the Perikatan Nasional chairperson.

The money was allegedly laundered by receiving money banked into Bersatu’s account.

Money laundering is the offence of disguising financial assets so they can be used while obscuring the illegal activity that produced them, transforming the proceeds into funds with an apparently legal source.