Crime & Courts

Court allows prosecution to suspend Muhyiddin's three money laundering charges related to Jana Wibawa

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court has allowed the prosecution to suspend Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's three money laundering charges related to Jana Wibawa scandal.

The prosecution seeks a temporary suspension pending its appeal against the decision of the High Court, which acquitted and discharged the former prime minister from four power abuse charges amounting to RM232.5 million related to the same scandal.

In today's proceeding, Judge Azura Alwi in her judgment said the court was satisfied after hearing argument from both parties to adjourn the case until the disposal of the prosecution's appeal at the Court of Appeal.

She said if there is a situation that requires a judicial decision (at the appellate court), the case in the Sessions Court should be suspended in the interest of fairness to all parties involved.

"This will also help to avoid any disruption to the proceedings in this court due to other pending applications and hearing in the appellate court has been scheduled," she said.

Azura then fixed March 4 for the parties to provide the court with updates on the latest developments.

On March 10 last year, Muhyiddin who is also the Perikatan Nasional chairman pleaded not guilty to four power abuse charges in receiving RM232.5 million in bribes on behalf of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and two money laundering charges amounting to RM195 million between 2020 and 2022.

On March 13, 2023, the Pagoh member of parliament was also charged with money laundering totalling RM5 million, which he received from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd and deposited into Bersatu's bank account.

However, on Aug 15, the same year, High Court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin struck out the case (power abuse), ruling that all four charges were defective and in bad faith.

Jamil said Muhyiddin was charged on offences unknown to the law.

He said that the four charges were flawed for not disclosing an offense under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act.

The prosecution then filed an appeal notice at the Court of Appeal on the same day against that decision.

The appeal hearing is scheduled for Feb 28 and 29.

On Oct 4, 2023, Muhyiddin also filed an application to strike out his remaining three money laundering charges seeking the court to grant him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

He contended that the money laundering charges would not stand as they were predicated to the main ones which were dropped recently.

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