KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — A senior Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer today was charged with misappropriating some RM25 million (US$ 6.94 million) in cash that had been impounded for investigation.
The 41-year-old senior enforcer, Shahrum Nizam Baharuddin, was accused of committing the offence in a room belonging to the commission's Special Operations Division chief situated on Level 14, Block C of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.
For that offence, Shahrum Nizam was slapped with one count of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code.
According to the charge sheet, Shahrum Nizam in his capacity as a public officer, had been entrusted with the possession of the RM25 million between December 17, 2018 and April 9, 2019.
The cash was previously seized as part of the agency’s investigation into former director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid who in 2018 was charged with criminal breach of trust involving US$12.1 million.
The sole charge was framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carried a punishment of imprisonment between two to 20 years, whipping and a possible fine upon conviction.
The accused entered his plea before Sessions Court judge Suzana Husin.
Lawyer K. Ponnusamy, representing Shahrum Nizam, urged the court to use its discretion to allow bail for the accused on grounds that he has nose cancer and is suffering from a slipped disc.
The prosecution pointed out that the charge was non-bailable, adding that the case had garnered widespread media coverage.
But Ponnusamy argued that “wide media coverage” should not be a reason to object to bail.
The court also refused to grant bail and fixed February 18 for mention.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court the prosecution will be filing several money laundering charges against Shahrum Nizam this week.
According to the prosecution, Shahrum Nizam is currently serving out a two-year detention for drug-related offences under the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) at the Simpang Renggam Prison.
Last year, the High Court granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal to Hasanah in her criminal breach of trust trial involving RM50.4 million funds.