Court to decide forfeiture application against Kasitah Gaddam on July 24

THE High Court here today set July 24 to decide on the prosecution’s application to forfeit RM100,00 seized from former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam, allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh set the date after hearing the submissions from both parties.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Nik Haslinie Hashim said although the money had been spent by the respondent, the court still has the power to issue an order under Section 59 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 for him to repay the amount.

“Even though the respondent said that the money was spent for the purpose of the 2013 General Election (GE13), the fact remains the money was received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and that the respondent had admitted it himself,” she said.

Lawyer Sasila Basri representing Kasitah, however, said that although his client had admitted receiving the money from Najib in 2012, it was meant for the GE13, which was held on May 5, 2013.

“Your Honour, my client is a government retiree and former minister in the federal Cabinet. The account in question was created to facilitate deposits of his pension money, long before he retired in 2004. It was not created for unlawful activities…allegation of such activities must be proved first.

“The money of RM100,000 was received in 2012, seized by the MACC in 2018…but my client also received pension money of more than RM100,000 a year. The seized money was actually his money,” he said.

The lawyer added that the proof of deposits of the pension money had also been submitted as exhibits to the court.

In June last year, former MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said that the MACC had filed civil forfeiture suit against 41 respondents to forfeit about RM270 million allegedly linked to the 1MDB fund scandal and received by the respondents from Najib.