High Court orders former Johor exco to enter defence over corruption, money laundering charges

by BERNAMA

THE Johor Baru High Court on Saturday ordered former Johor exco Datuk Abd Latif Bandi (picture), his son and a real estate consultant to enter their defence on 37 counts of corruption and money laundering charges involving RM35.7 million, four years ago.

Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar ruled that the Sessions Court had erred in its decision to free and acquit Abd Latif, 55, his son Ahmad Fauzan Hatim, 29, and real estate consultant Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub, 48, two years ago.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the court allowed the three accused bail of RM1.1 million with property bond as surety for all the charges.

“The High Court judge held that the Sessions Court judge made a mistake because he failed to take into consideration several important issues in the case.

“The court has also ruled that all prima facie evidence had been proven and set Nov 14 for re-mention of the case in the Sessions Court,” he told reporters outside the court on Saturday.

The prosecution was led by Wan Shaharuddin while lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin led the defence team.

Only immediate families of the three accused were allowed in the courtroom to follow the proceedings.

On June 14, 2017, the three accused were charged with 33 counts of corruption and four counts of money laundering involving RM35.7 million.

Sessions Court Judge Kamarudin Kamsun had on April 21, 2019, ordered the release and acquittal of Abd Latif, Ahmad Fauzan Hatim and Amir Shariffuddin, after the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case.

The three were charged under Section 28(1)(C) of the MACC Act 2009, and Section 32(8)(c) and Section 89 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The proceedings on Saturday were to decide whether to call the former State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman and the two other accused to enter their defence or to acquit them.