May 6 hearing of Musa Aman’s application on legal issues pertaining to his money laundering case

The Sessions Court here today set May 6 to hear an application on legal issues by the defence in the case of former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman who is facing 16 counts of money laundering amounting to US$37.8 million and SG$2.5 million.

Judge Rozina Ayob fixed the date when the case came up for mention.

Earlier, lawyer Francis Ng Aik Guan, representing Musa,  informed the court that the defence was ready with its submission on the application, but deputy public prosecutor Datuk Salim Soib @ Hamid, who is prosecuting, said the prosecution would object to the application and needed time to reply to it.

“The respondent (prosecution) intends to file an affidavit-n-reply, within 14 days from April 10. This is because affidavits have to be obtained from Hong Kong and Singapore diplomatic officers.

“The prosecution has received the defence application on April 10,” he said, adding that the prosecution would submit the affidavit-in-reply on April 24.

According to the first charge, Musa was alleged to have instructed Richard Christopher Barnes, 67, to open an account at UBS AG Bank, Singapore, under the name of Richard Christopher Barnes, to receive proceeds from illegal activities on June 21, 2006.

Alternatively, Musa was also accused of instructing Barnes to open the account to purportedly conceal the fact that he (Musa) was the recipient of the proceeds from unlawful activities  at the same place and time.

For the second to 15th count, Musa was accused of receiving US$16,148,547 and US$1,047,153  from Chia Tien Foh; US$2,702,702 and US$2,180,673 from Young Generation Corp; US$4,044,956.82 from Lo Man Heng; US$518,681.74 and US$895,000 from Mazlan Zakaria; US$7,300,000 and SG$2,500,000 from Axon Group Ltd; US$862,000 and US$778,443 from Well Capital Finance Limited; US$650,000 from Innovative Information Ltd; US$406,003.29 from Portland Trading Pte Ltd, and US$311,332.50 from Well Capital Finance Limited,all believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities through Barnes’ bank account.

On the 16th count, Musa was accused to have instructed Barnes to transfer all of his assets and future inflows, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities from Barnes’ bank account to his personal account at UBS AG Bank in Zurich, Switzerland.

For the second until the 16th charge, Musa was accused of committing the offences at UBS AG Bank, in Hong Kong, China, between June 21, 2006 and May 14, 2008.

All the charges were framed under Section 4(1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Prevention of Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which provides a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine of five times the value of the proceeds of  illegal activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Musa is also facing 15 counts of corruption involving US$63.3 million (RM263 million)  in connection with timber concession contracts in Sabah.

He was alleged to have committed the offences at eight banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong and Singapore between Dec 20, 2004, and Nov 6, 2008.

The charges were framed under Section 11(a) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997, carries a maximum imprisonment of 20 years and fine not less than five times the amount of bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.

The prosecution also informed the court that they have filed an application to transfer Musa’s case to the High Court and that the date to hear the application has been fixed for April 22.

The Sessions Court also set May 6 for mention of Musa’s corruption case.

BERNAMA