PUTRAJAYA – The government has failed again in its attempt to forfeit millions of ringgit from UMNO after the Court of Appeal maintained the verdict of the Kuala Lumpur High Court earlier.
Besides UMNO, seven other relevant entities including Pahang MCA Women have succeeded in maintaining the verdict of the forfeiture suit related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
The three-panel judges of the Court of Appeal also allowed the application by the Pahang UMNO Communications Unit to set aside the High Court verdict from forfeiting RM2,479,300.18 seized from the UMNO Pahang chapter.
Led by Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, the three-panel judges consisted of Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais delivered the verdict through a Zoom virtual proceeding.
While delivering the verdict, the Court of Appeal found that the High Court Judge had erred when he did not consider undeniable facts.
The facts include, the money given by the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been spent and the money was from other sources that did not contradict the law.
In another judgement to forfeit the monies seized from eight entities including UMNO and MCA Women, the Court of Appeal found no reason to disrupt the decision delivered by the High Court.
The Court of Appeal then dismissed the application by the prosecution and coincided with the High Court Judge that the monies received from Najib were for the services provided by the respondents.
“The respondents have supported their case with documentation evidences such as invoices. Besides that, the respondents had no knowledge and reason to suspect that the monies received from Najib were from illegal activities.
“The High Court Judge found that it is unfair to forfeit the monies of the respondents without evidences from the prosecution that those monies were from illegal activities and thus, dismiss the prosecution’s request,” said the verdict.
On 7 February, the Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed the request of the government to forfeit RM192 million belonging to UMNO that it alleged was related to 1MDB funds.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan decided that the prosecution had failed to prove that the funds were related to the cheques that were deposited earlier by the former President of UMNO cum the then Prime Minister.
The panel of judges also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal to forfeit the monies seized from several other political and business entities.
Those entities included the Wanita MCA (RM300,000); Kedah UMNO Communications (RM1.05 million); tudung seller Perano (RM337,634.78), tents supplier Binsabi Sdn Bhd (RM827,250); Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd (RM100,000); K&Z Enterprise Sdn Bhd (RM138,359.60); and Hattatex Trading (RM111,590).
UMNO and the various entities were among 41 entities and individuals summoned in the forfeiture suit by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to retrieve RM270million allegedly related to 1MDB. –MalaysiaGazette