Former ‘spy chief’ sues MACC over frozen bank account

Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 25, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 25, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid has filed an originating summons challenging the freeze on her bank account since September last year.

Hasanah, 61, who is facing a criminal breach of trust (CBT) charge, filed the legal action on March 28, naming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the government as respondents.

She is seeking a declaration order that the freezing of her bank account dated September 3, 2018 issued by the MACC deputy public prosecutor is null and void.

She is also seeking a declaration that Section 37(1) of the MACC Act in relation to the freezing of her account in Sept last year contravened Articles 5 and 13 of the Federal Constitution and hence should be declared null and void.

Section 37(1) allows the public prosecutor to direct a bank to freeze any account based on information given to him.

In an affidavit of support filed with the originating summons, Hasanah claimed that the MACC had not informed her about the prohibitory order on her bank account during her remand period from August 29, 2018 until she was released on September 3 the same year.

She only found out when her banking transactions failed while she was trying to make a transaction on September 4, 2018.

The applicant said she later contacted the MACC investigating officer for further clarification on her bank account and the latter told her that the account would be temporarily frozen as per normal investigation procedures by the MACC.

She said, five letters had been sent to the MACC between October 9 and December 18, 2018, appealing to commission to lift the freeze on her bank account, however, she claimed that on December 6 the same year, she received a letter from the MACC Investigation Division saying that her application could not be considered.

Hasanah said she was finding it difficult to support herself as was depending solely on the pension money credited into the account and she had no other source of income.

Meanwhile, lawyer Nur Aifaa Mohd Zain, who represented Hasanah, told reporters that originating summons against the MACC and the government was fixed for case management today before High Court deputy registrar Idamasliza Maarof, who then fixed May 17 for further case management.

The proceedings in chambers was also attended by deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad and Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal acting for MACC.

On October 25, last year, Hasanah pleaded not guilty to a CBT charge for misappropriating US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) of funds belonging to the government. — Bernama

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