Ex-Tabung Haji chairman's money laundering, corruption trial to proceed in Sessions Court

PUTRAJAYA (June 22): Former Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and his brother Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Rahim today withdrew their appeal against the High Court's dismissal of their application to transfer their corruption and money laundering cases from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Abdul Azeez and Abdul Latif’s lawyer M Athimulan informed the accused’s decision to the panel of judges at the Court of Appeal.

The panel of judges comprises Court of Appeal judges Datuk Yaacob Md Sam and Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail besides High Court judge Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

Deputy public prosecutor How May Ling was present on behalf of the prosecution.

Abdul Azeez, 53, and Abdul Latif, 62, were not present in court, as they were granted an exemption by the court to not attend today's proceedings.

In November last year, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismissed the prosecution's application to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court. The defence supported the transfer application as well.

Mohd Nazlan said then he did not see how conducting the trial at the Sessions Court would cause any prejudice to the accused or prosecution.

The prosecution did not appeal against the decision but Abdul Azeez and Abdul Latif did.

On May 18 this year, Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi set 21 days for the trial on Aug 18 and 19; Sept 7 to 11; Oct 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Dec 7 to 18.

Abdul Azeez, who is also Baling member of parliament, is facing three counts of bribery involving RM5.2 million linked to road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering involving nearly RM140 million, while his brother is charged for abetting him.

The corruption charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, while the money laundering charges were made under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

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