A senior Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) official was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with criminal breach of trust amounting to US$6.94 million.
Shahrum Nizam Baharuddin, 41, claimed trial after the charge was read out to him before judge Suzana Hussin.
Shahrum was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code as a public office holder, namely a Grade 44 MACC official entrusted with the control of nearly RM30 million.
He allegedly committed the offence at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya between Dec 17, 2018 and April 9, 2019.
If convicted, he faces jail of between two and 20 years, whipping and the possibility of a fine.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin earlier objected to the giving of bail to Shahrum, saying the offence was serious as it involved a large amount of money while the case had received wide media coverage.
Wan Shaharuddin, who handled the case with Faridz Gohim Abdullah and Mahadi Abdul Jumaat requested that bail be set at RM10 million with three sureties.
He also said that Shahrum would be slapped with 101 money laundering charges in the near future.
Lawyer K Ponnusamy who represented Shahrum meanwhile asked for a lower bail, saying his client was still employed as a civil servant and posed no flight risk. He added that Shahrum had fully cooperated with the authorities throughout the investigation.
He also said that his client was married with two children, and had health problems including a slipped disc and nose cancer.
The court ruled that no bail would be allowed and set Feb 18 for the next case mention.
MACC previously confirmed the arrest of three of its officers to assist in investigations into allegations of abuse of power and malpractice in the case of former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid.
On April 12, 2021, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur acquitted Hasanah of criminal breach of trust amounting to US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million).