KUALA LUMPUR: Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim was today freed from his corruption charges involving road projects in Perak and Kedah.
This was after High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Azahar Abdul Hamid allowed Azeez's notice of motion to get a full acquittal against his nine charges, comprising three for corruption and six for money laundering.
On Sept 23, Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) against the former Tabung Haji chairman under Section 254 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code following a representation submitted by Abdul Azeez.
Azeez was represented by Amer Hamzah Arshad and Deputy Public Prosecutor Nik Haslinie Hashim appeared for the prosecution.
Earlier, Amer said the defence had sent a notice of motion to the court for full acquittal and the prosecution did not object to the application.
Azeez, 55, was charged with three counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM5.2 million and six charges of money laundering worth RM972,414.60 in relation to road projects in Perak and Kedah, with the offences allegedly committed at five banks in the federal capital between Sept 6, 2010, and April 10, 2018.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) and Section 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe, if found guilty.
For the money laundering charges, they were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 which is punishable under Section 4(1) of the same act.
The law provides an imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the proceeds of the illegal activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
On Sept 5 this year, Abdul Azeez failed in his appeal at the Court of Appeal to quash all the charges.
A three-judge panel consisting of Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali dismissed Abdul Azeez's appeal to quash the nine charges after ruling that the charges were not defective and ordered the trial of the case in the Sessions Court to continue.
The trial of the case began on Aug 19, 2020, with seven prosecution witnesses called to testify.