The Kuala Lumpur High Court today allowed an application by former Tabung Haji chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who is facing three charges of corruption and 10 charges of money laundering, to stay the hearing of the case pending the outcome of his appeal at the Court of Appeal to strike out all of the charges.
Judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin made the decision after finding that there were special circumstances that justified the court using its discretion to stay the hearing at the Sessions Court.
“After considering the submission by the counsel and taking into account the lack of objection by the prosecution, the court hereby allows the application by the applicant.
“The court also considers the principles of law in an application to stay the hearing. In this case, there are special circumstances that justify the court staying the trial proceedings in the Sessions Court until the disposal of the applicant’s appeal in the Court of Appeal,” he added.
On March 12, Azeez failed in his bid to quash the charges following Jamil’s decision to dismiss the appeal on grounds that the charges were not defective and were based on provisions of the law.
Azeez filed an appeal against the dismissal of his application at the Court of Appeal on the same day (March 12), while the application to stay the proceeding at the Sessions Court was filed on April 8.
Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad, representing Azeez, submitted that the fact that the prosecution did not object to the stay application showed that they appreciated the dynamics of the proceedings that there was no prejudice to the state.
“There would be no prejudice to the prosecution, rather it would prejudice the applicant (Azeez) if stay is not allowed,” he said, adding that the appeal had been fixed for case management on June 8 at the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Adam Mohamed told the court that the prosecution had received instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers not to object to the stay application.
Azeez was charged with three counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah and 10 counts of money laundering involving a total of RM13.9 million allegedly received from Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd.
The offences were said to have been committed at CIMB Bank, Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8, 2010 and at Affin Bank, Puchong City Centre, Selangor, on June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018.
For the money laundering charges, Azeez was charged with committing the offences in the Klang Valley area between March 8, 2010 and Aug 30, 2018.