Crime & Courts

Court strikes out Aman Palestin's judicial review application to unfreeze 11 bank accounts [UPDATED]

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed Aman Palestin's application for a judicial review to release 11 of its 41 bank accounts that were frozen under a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) probe.

Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh, in his broad grounds, said the subject matter was not amendable to judicial review.

"(This is) as the power to issue freezing orders is part and parcel of the criminal investigation process.

"It has been held by the highest court, and this court is bound by those decisions, that the power in relation to the criminal investigation process is not amenable to judicial review," he ruled.

Amarjeet's decision on the application was conveyed to parties via email.

He said a fuller judgment will be written in the event of an appeal.

Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, who represented MACC as respondent and Aman Palestin's lawyer, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, confirmed the judge's decision.

Hanir was assisted by senior federal counsel Nur Irmawatie Daud.

Aman Palestin filed an application on Jan 31, seeking to set aside the MACC's decision to freeze 11 of its 41 bank accounts under Section 44(1) of the AMLA on Nov 24 last year.

The non-governmental organisation also sought a mandamus order for the MACC to vary the freeze order for a sum of RM11,026,215.60 to be unfrozen immediately for daily expenses, staff salary, administration and operation costs for the next three months.

It also sought a court declaration that the appellant could still collect funds from the public and directly channel them to the war victims in Gaza.

Rafique had said Aman Palestin was a recognised institution spearheading humanitarian aid in Palestine and has collaborated with international counterparts in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and surrounding areas.

Besides MACC, six other respondents were named in the suit, namely MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki, MACC investigation division senior director Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim, MACC anti-money laundering division director Datuk Mohamad Zamri Zainul Abidin, two MACC officers Mohd Afiq Mohammed Hassan and Muhammad Zuhdi Mohd Yusoff, and the government.

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