Appeals hearing over forfeiture against UMNO, others rescheduled to Nov 30

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Court of Appeal has rescheduled to Nov 30, hearing of the prosecution’s appeals on the High Court’s dismissal of its forfeiture applications against UMNO, Wanita MCA and others.

Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who chaired a three-member panel, said the court was of the opinion that it would be better for the appeals to be heard on another date to wait for the outcome of an appeal in the Federal Court involving the Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) case.

In that appeal, the Federal Court had fixed Sept 30 to deliver its verdict in the prosecution’s appeal to overturn a Court of Appeal’s dismissal of its bid to forfeit monies and properties valued at more than RM37 million owned by two individuals and seven companies, including KDSB that managed the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

In today’s matter before the Court of Appeal panel which also comprised Justices Datuk P. Ravinthran and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor, Roslan Mat Nor proposed to the court to wait for the Federal Court’s decision.

He said this was to ensure certainty of the law, adding that it would not prejudice the respondents if the court waited for the Federal Court’s decision.

The appeals by the prosecution were against the High Court’s dismissal on Feb 7, this  year of its bid to forfeit over RM194 million seized from UMNO, Wanita MCA, Perano Sdn Bhd and Binsabi Sdn Bhd which were allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (IMDB) fraudulent fund scandal.

The forfeiture applications against UMNO involved RM192,965,413.61 and RM300,000 against Wanita MCA.

For Perano, a company which sells hijab, and Binsabi Sdn Bhd, which supplies tents, the sums involved were RM337,634.78 and RM827,250, respectively.

The prosecution is also appealing against a High Court’s decision on Dec 13, last year, to reject its application to forfeit RM100,000 from Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd.

Habib Jewels’ lawyer, Khoo Guan Huat said he left it to the court to decide on whether to reschedule the appeal, but added that the Federal Court’s decision in the KDSB matter did not affect his client’s case.

Meanwhile, the same Court of Appeal panel also adjourned the hearing of the appeal brought by the Pahang UMNO Liaison Committee over a High Court’s decision on Jan 9, this year which allowed the prosecution to forfeit RM2,479,300.18 that was seized from it.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin said the appeal would be heard on Nov 30 together with the prosecution’s appeal in the Kedah UMNO Liaison Committee case.

The court will also hear on that day an application by the prosecution to amend its petition of appeal in the Kedah UMNO Liaison Committee case.

On Dec 13, last year, the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s application to forfeit RM1.05 million from the Kedah UMNO Liaison Committee allegedly related to the 1MDB fraudulent fund scandal.

Meanwhile, the court allowed the prosecution’s application to amend its petition of appeal in the K&Z Enterprise Sdn Bhd case and set Nov 30 to hear the prosecution’s appeal.

On Jan 3, this year, the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s application to forfeit RM138,359.60 from the company.

K&Z Enterprise was represented by lawyer Thevini Nayagam, while counsel Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh appeared for UMNO, Datuk Ben Chan for Wanita MCA, Mohd Shukri Ahmad Mansor for Pahang UMNO Liaison Committee and D. Nadaraja for Kedah UMNO Liaison Committee.

Thevini also represented Perano while counsel Muhammad Hasif Hasan appeared for Binsabi.