Prosecution to object to Muhyiddin’s appeal to Federal Court

Muhyiddin Yassin was charged in March last year with abusing his power as prime minister between Feb 8 and Aug 20, 2021, in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme.

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution will raise a preliminary objection to Muhyiddin Yassin’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision last week to restore four abuse of power charges framed against the former prime minister.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Wan Shahruddin Wan Ladin told sessions court judge Azura Alwi that the Federal Court has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal as it is unknown in law and went against Section 87 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

“This matter started in the sessions court and must end in the Court of Appeal, which is the apex court for this case. It cannot go to the Federal Court. We will raise a preliminary objection,” he said in updating Azura on the outcome of the prosecution’s appeal last week.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Muhyiddin, said the prosecution should raise its objections at the proper forum, namely the Federal Court.

The lawyer said a notice of appeal from the Court of Appeal’s decision was filed last week.

He added that the defence would resort to “another mode under the law” to challenge the Court of Appeal decision, but did not elaborate further.

According to Hisyam, the defence intends to file an application to stay the trial in the sessions court within the next two weeks.

Azura fixed April 3 for another mention.

Counsel K Kumaraendran, Chetan Jethwani and Low Wei Loke also appeared for Muhyiddin, while DPPs Ahmad Akram Gharib and Poh Yih Tinn assisted Wan Shahruddin.

On Feb 28, a three-member appeals court bench chaired by Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail set aside a High Court order, handed down on Aug 15 last year, acquitting Muhyiddin on grounds that the charges were defective and did not disclose any offence in law.

“The charges were unambiguous. There is no necessity for the prosecution to give further particulars as to how the offence was committed,” said Hadhariah when allowing the prosecution’s appeal.

Hadhariah said the bench also found no merit in Muhyiddin’s contention that Bersatu does not fall within the definition of the word “associate” in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009. The appeals court said the party, being a political society, came within the definition.

Muhyiddin was charged in March last year with abusing his power as prime minister between Feb 8 and Aug 20, 2021, in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme by seeking to obtain RM232.5 million for Bersatu.

He pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him before Azura Alwi on March 10.

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