by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG
The High Court here today dismissed the prosecution’s applications to forfeit over RM194 million allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraudulent fund scandal that were seized from UMNO, Wanita MCA, and two companies. Binsabi Sdn Bhd and Perano Sdn Bhd,
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the applications on the grounds that the monies could not be convincingly said were received from former Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak and that there was no evidence to prove that the monies came from unlawful activities.
The forfeiture applications against UMNO involved RM192,965,413.61 and RM300,000 against Wanita MCA, while the two companies are Perano Sdn Bhd, which sells hijab, and Binsabi Sdn Bhd, which supplies tents, involving RM337,634.78 and RM827,250, respectively, which they allegedly received from the former prime minister.
“As for UMNO, I am of the view that the amount in the respondent’s bank account currently could not be said to be from, or part of the amount contributed, by Datuk Seri Najib Razak (DSNR).
“The withdrawals from the respondent’s bank account from the time the money was deposited justified the respondent’s contention that the monies had long been spent.
“In a gist, there is nothing left from the monies banked in from DSNR to the respondent’s account left to be forfeited, even if it was to be assumed that the monies received were illegitimate proceeds. The prosecution’s application is therefore dismissed,” said Mohamed Zaini and ordered for the accounts of all four respondents to be released forthwith.
Following which, deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat , who appeared with deputy public prosecutor Samihah Rhazali, for the prosecution, applied for a stay of today’s ruling, saying that the prosecution would be filing an appeal next week against the decision.
“We are concerned if the accounts are unfrozen, it would be hard for us to seize the money in the case that we win the appeal,” he said.
The judge then gave an interim order for the accounts to remain frozen until the disposal of the stay application and instructed the prosecution to file a notice of appeal by next Friday.
UMNO and Wanita MCA were represented by lawyers Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh and Datuk Ben Chan, respectively, while Perano by lawyers Thevini Nayagam and Habizan Habeeb Rahman, and Binsabi by lawyers Tengku Shazuan Tengku Shariffudin and Muhammad Hasif Hasan.