Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Ex-Tabung Haji chairman in bid to quash graft, money laundering charges

However, court refuses request for today's hearing to be postponed.

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Former Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim has filed a notice of motion seeking an order for the 12 corruption charges against him pertaining to road projects in Perak and Kedah, as well as for money laundering, to be quashed.

His lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the application was filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 11.

“The court has fixed Dec 23 for case management, so we are requesting for a postponement of today’s hearing,” he said at the trial of Azeez and his brother, Abdul Latif Abdul Rahim, before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi today.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Adam Mohamed raised no objection to the application to postpone today’s hearing.

However, Azura dismissed it, saying that while the court would not stop the accused from making any application, today’s trial must proceed as there is no order from any other court to suspend proceedings.

The trial continued with the fifth prosecution witness, Road Transport Department (JPJ) enforcement officer Azrin Abdul Razak, who is based at the JPJ headquarters in Putrajaya, reading out his witness statement.

Azrin, 46, told the court that he had received an application from MACC investigation division commandant Muhammad Afnan Abdullah for information on a white Toyota Vellfire belonging to Azeez to facilitate investigations.

“I then did some checks and passed on the information to Muhammad Afnan,” he said.

Azeez, 53, is charged with three counts of accepting bribes totalling RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering involving nearly RM140 million.

His brother, Latif, 62, is accused of abetting him.

Azeez is accused of committing the offence at CIMB Bank, Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8, 2010, and at Affin Bank, Pusat Bandar Puchong in Selangor on June 13, 2017, and April 10, 2018.

The money laundering offences were allegedly committed in the Klang Valley area between March 8, 2010 and August 30, 2018.

Latif is accused of abetting his brother in obtaining a RM4 million bribe from Mohammad Redzuan Mohanan Abdullah, director of Syarikat Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd, as gratification to help the company secure road projects through limited tender from the works ministry.

The project involved the Pantai Baru Coastal Expressway Project and upgrading works of Federal Road FT005 (Teluk Intan to Kampung Lekir, Perak) valued at RM644,480,000.

The offence was allegedly committed at Affin Bank Bhd in Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Petaling, Selangor, on June 13, 2017, and April 10, 2018.

The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) and Section 28 (1) (c) of the MACC Act 2009.

The trial continues on Feb 8.

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