Hasanah freed from US$12.1 mil CBT charges

The High Court here today acquitted and discharged former director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid for  criminal breach of trust (CBT)involving US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) belonging to the Malaysian government, four years ago.

High Court Judicial Commissioner (JC) Roz Mawar Rozain made the ruling after allowing Hasanah’s  application to free her on the charge, as it was not objected by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari.

“Based on the fact that the prosecution has no desire to conduct the case,, this court thus acquitted and discharged Hasanah from the charge under Section 409 of the Penal Code.

“It is unfair, hanging her head over a year ,and I don’t think justice is served that way,” said  ruled JC Roz Mawar.

Earlier, Hasanah’s   lawyer Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim submitted that last year, High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd had granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to his client, and until now, the prosecution was unable to proceed with the case against Hasanah.

“They are not able to proceed anymore as the main ingredient collapsed. Subsequently, another issue is, they no longer have the main exhibit which is involved in the charge. Subject matter is no longer present. It is not wrong for the applicant in this case to submit that the prosecution’s case has collapsed,” said Suhaimi.

On April 12, 2021, Judge Ahmad Shahrir granted DNAA to Hasanah after  the prosecution applied not to continue with the case.

However, the prosecution indicated that Hasanah would be charged again in the future if there were new developments.

Judge Ahmad Shahrir said that when the DPP exercised his powers under Section 254 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code not to prosecute the accused further, it was the duty of the court under Section 254 (3) of the same law to consider whether the accused should be granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal or to be acquitted and discharged.

The trial commenced on Oct 6, 2020, whereby a total of 10 prosecution witnesses testified in the case.

On Oct 25, 2018, Hasanah, 65, pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing CBT amounting to US$12.1 (RM50.4 million) in funds belonging to the government when serving as the director-general of the  Research Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.

She was charged with committing the offence at the office of the Research Division at the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) in Putrajaya, between April 30 and May 9, 2018.

The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping as well as a fine upon conviction. — BERNAMA