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HomeMalaysia NewsMuhyiddin Seeks to Dismiss Money Laundering Charges Linked to Jana Wibawa Program

Muhyiddin Seeks to Dismiss Money Laundering Charges Linked to Jana Wibawa Program

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has taken legal action to challenge three money laundering charges, totaling approximately RM200 million, connected to the Jana Wibawa program that was implemented during his tenure. Muhyiddin, who currently chairs Perikatan Nasional, is also seeking a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) from these charges. The application, filed by Messrs Chetan Jethwani & Company, invokes Section 173(g) of the Criminal Procedure Code and argues that these charges lack a solid foundation.

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The three charges specifically pertain to two counts of receiving RM195 million from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, purportedly proceeds from illegal activities, which were deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Bersatu, the political party Muhyiddin was affiliated with. It is alleged that Muhyiddin committed these offenses at Menara CIMB KL Sentral on Jalan Stesen Sentral between February 25 and July 16, 2021, as well as between February 8 and July 8, 2022.

Moreover, on March 13, Muhyiddin faced an additional charge in the Shah Alam sessions court, accused of receiving RM5 million from an illegal source. This case has been transferred to the sessions court for a consolidated trial.

In support of his application to dismiss the charges, Muhyiddin referenced a ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 15, which acquitted and discharged him of predicate offenses related to abuse of power under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. These charges were associated with allegations of abuse of power to secure RM232.5 million for Bersatu between February 8 and August 20, 2021. Justice Jamil Hussin, in his ruling, stated that the charges did not clearly define any legal offense and were insufficiently clear to enable Muhyiddin, who was the president of Bersatu, to prepare a defense.

In his affidavit, Muhyiddin argued that since the court had determined the predicate offenses to be unfounded, it logically followed that the money laundering charges should also be considered baseless.

The prosecution has lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal to challenge Jamil’s ruling. Chetan, in a communication with FMT, confirmed that the application to set aside the charges was served on the prosecution on Monday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin informed FMT that the prosecution has written to Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi, requesting that their application to stay the trial of the money laundering charges, pending the outcome of the Court of Appeal ruling, be heard first on November 29. He explained that if Muhyiddin’s application to dismiss the money laundering charges is addressed first and decided upon, the prosecution’s stay application would become redundant. The prosecution had submitted the stay application with a certificate of urgency on September 21.