PUTRAJAYA, July 3 — The prosecution once again failed to obtain a stay order against the High Court’s dismissal of its application to forfeit over RM194 million seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) from Umno, Wanita MCA and two companies.
The prosecution had sought for a stay order against the High Court’s decision made on February 17, this year pending hearing of its appeal which is fixed for August 25 at the Court of Appeal.
A Court of Appeal three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Yaacob Md Sam which heard the stay applications today held that the prosecution failed to show to the court that there were special circumstances to enable the court to invoke its discretionary power to grant the stay.
He said the prosecution’s concern that if the stay was not granted and if the appellate court allowed its appeal, the appeal would be nugatory and futile, so could not form a case of special circumstances.
“There are case authorities stating that special circumstances must be very special and not ordinary special circumstances,” said Justice Yaacob in dismissing the prosecution’s four stay applications.
The other two judges presiding on the bench were Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and High Court judge Datuk Nordin Hassan.
A Kuala Lumpur High Court, on Feb 7, this year dismissed the prosecution’s applications to forfeit over RM194 million seized from Umno, Wanita MCA, Perano Sdn Bhd and Binsabi Sdn Bhd, allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (IMDB) fraudulent fund scandal.
High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan held that the monies could not be convincingly said were received from Najib and that there was no evidence to prove that the monies came from unlawful activities.
The forfeiture applications against Umno involved RM192,965,413.61 and RM300,000 against Wanita MCA.
Meanwhile, for Perano, a company which sells hijab, and Binsabi Sdn Bhd, which supplies tents, the sums involved were RM337,634.78 and RM827,250, respectively, which they allegedly received from Najib.
On June 19, this year, the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s stay application against the High Court’s February 7 decision pending appeal at the Court of Appeal.
In today’s proceedings, MACC deputy public prosecutor Roslan Mat Nor submitted that there were special circumstances to grant the stay because if the stay order was not granted, the High Court’s order would be enforced and the monies would have to be released to the respondents.
Umno’s lawyer, Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh submitted that the prosecution’s fear it could not recover the monies if stay was not granted was unfounded as Umno was solvent.
Lawyer Datuk Ben Chan, representing Wanita MCA, argued that the amount involved in his client’s case was very small, adding that Wanita MCA had more than sufficient assets and was in a stable financial position.
Lawyer N. Thevini appeared for Perano while Binsabi was represented by counsel Muhammad Hasif Hasan.
After the court proceedings, Hariharan told the media that following the court’s decision today, he would write to CIMB Bank Bhd to unfreeze Umno’s account, which had been frozen since May 28, 2018. — Bernama