Prosecution applies for ‘in-camera’ proceedings in ex-spy chief’s criminal breach of trust trial

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, Sept 21 — The prosecution in the former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid’s criminal breach of trust (CBT) case is applying for the proceedings to be heard ‘in-camera’ for 15 witnesses as it involves national security issues.

She is alleged to have committed CBT by misappropriating RM50.4 million (US$12.1 million) in funds belonging to the Malaysian government.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad informed the High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh that the prosecution will file the application as soon as possible and request that the trial date from October 5 to 22 be maintained.

“The prosecution today has submitted 22 additional documents to the defence and I would like to inform the court that the prosecution will submit an application for an ‘in-camera’ proceedings,” he said during the case management today which was also attended by Hasanah’s counsel Hamdan Hamzah.

Ahmad Shahrir set October 5 for the hearing of the application and instructed both parties to file written submissions on or before September 30.

Speaking to reporters later, Muhamad Iskandar said they intended to hold closed proceedings for 15 witnesses on the grounds it involved national interests and security issues.

“The witnesses in the case total 37,” he said.

The trial is set for October 5, 6, 8, 12-15 and 19-22.

On October 25, 2018, Hasanah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to a CBT charge involving RM50.4 million belonging to the Malaysian government.

Hasanah, in her capacity as a civil servant, is alleged to have committed the offence at the office of the director-general, Research Division, Prime Minister’s Department Complex, Federal Government Administrative Centre in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9, 2018.

She was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping and fine, upon conviction. — Bernama

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