Prosecution withdraws appeal to forfeit monies allegedly linked to 1MDB funds from nine entities

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution has withdrawn its appeals to forfeit monies belonging to nine entities, including Umno and Wanita MCA, which are allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) funds.

The prosecution had lost its cases both in the High Court and Court of Appeal to forfeit monies from Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd, Hattatex Trading, Wanita MCA, Umno, Kedah Umno liaison committee, four individuals, Perano Sdn Bhd, Binsabi Sdn Bhd and K&Z Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

The Court of Appeal had also ruled against the prosecution and set aside a High Court decision that had allowed it to forfeit monies seized from the Pahang Umno liaison committee.

This prompted the prosecution to file the appeals to the Federal Court, which was scheduled to hear the appeals today (Feb 7).

Deputy public prosecutor Samihah Razali, when contacted by Bernama, said the prosecution had submitted its notices of discontinuance of the appeals on Feb 2.

She said the government had also returned the forfeited money in those cases.

On Sept 2, 2021, the Court of Appeal held that there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the court that the monies seized were the subject matter or evidence relating to the commission of an offence or proceeds of unlawful activities.

The court also said there was absence of link whatsoever between the monies in the bank accounts of the respondents and the funds allegedly misappropriated from IMDB.

The prosecution sought to forfeit RM192,965,413.61 belonging to Umno, RM300,000 from Wanita MCA, RM337,634.78 and RM827,250 respectively from Perano, a company which sells hijab, and Binsabi which supplies tents, RM100,000 from Habib Jewels, RM138,359.60 from K&Z Enterprise, RM827,250 from the Kedah Umno liaison committee, and RM111,590 from Hattatex Trading.

The Court of Appeal three-member bench led by Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil had also allowed the Pahang Umno liaison committee to set aside a High Court decision in allowing the prosecution’s application to forfeit RM2,479,300.18 seized from the committee.

The prosecution alleged that the seized monies were the subject matter or evidence from proceeds of an unlawful activity allegedly committed by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Last week, the government also withdrew its appeals in the Court of Appeal to forfeit monies totalling RM21.7mil belonging to 11 individuals, business entities and political parties, including Pekan Umno and Johor Umno liaison committee, allegedly linked to 1MDB funds.

The others are Jakel Trading Sdn Bhd, Jakel Trading, Johor Baru Barisan Nasional division, Mediaedge CIA Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Sarawak United People’s Party, director for Strategic Engagement Media Sdn Bhd (CENSE Media) Sim Sai Hoon, AGA Touch Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Yayasan Persatuan Bekas Anggota Kemas Malaysia (Yayasan PBAKM) and former land and cooperatives development minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam. – Bernama