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Court allows Bersatu to challenge MACC’s seizure of bank accounts

30 October 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has allowed Bersatu to challenge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) seizure of the party’s bank accounts.

Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid granted the party’s application for leave to commence judicial proceedings on grounds that the application is not frivolous.

The court set case management for Nov 28.

In April, MACC announced that it had seized two Bersatu accounts under Section 50 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla).

The present application was filed in a bid to have the seizure order annulled.

Bersatu claims the order was issued in bad faith. The party also claims it was not served with the seizure order.

Bersatu was represented by Rosli Dahlan, while senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly appeared for MACC.

At the hearing of an earlier application by Bersatu on May 30, the High Court allowed the party to challenge an MACC order freezing its bank accounts. Party president Muhyiddin Yassin was also allowed to challenge a travel ban imposed on him.

In granting leave, Kamal ruled that Bersatu’s application to challenge the freezing order, issued in March, was neither frivolous nor vexatious.

On Muhyiddin’s travel ban, the judge said the Bersatu president had not been told why he was barred from leaving the country. He added that a subsequent lifting of the ban did not render the challenge academic.

However, the court rejected Bersatu’s application for interim access to its frozen accounts.

Muhyiddin was also charged with four counts of alleged abuse of power relating to his administration’s Jana Wibawa programme.

The charges accused the former prime minister of abusing his powers to obtain RM232.5 million for Bersatu.

However, in August, Justice Jamil Hussin quashed those charges on the grounds that they were defective.

The prosecution has appealed the decision, which the Court of Appeal will hear on Feb 28 and 29 next year.

Edited by Ho Kit Yen

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