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Ex-deputy minister fails in third attempt to have money laundering, false statement charges either removed or reduced

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): Former deputy finance minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan today failed in his third attempt to send representation to the prosecution to either reduce or remove his charges of money laundering and providing false statements to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.

This is in relation to Ahmad allegedly receiving RM2 million from former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Siti Norhafizan Zakaria told Sessions Judge Ahmad Kamar Jamaludin that Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun reviewed the third representation and decided to reject it on Oct 5.

"Hence, the prosecution wants the court to proceed with the trial dates. However, we are applying that the trial date on Dec 24 be vacated as the DPP handling this matter is under quarantine as he may have come to close contact with a Covid-19 positive patient," Siti Norhafizan said.

Lawyers Mohamed Baharudin Mohd Ariff and Atiqah Naziha Azmi, who represent Ahmad, said they also are in a similar predicament as lead counsel Hamidi Mohd Noh has also been ordered to quarantine for similar reasons.

Ahmad Kamar wanted to fix an early hearing date in March but was told by Baharudin that Hamidi, who is also representing Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a graft case here, also has that case on trial in Shah Alam during this period.

Hence, the court fixed July 5 to 8, 12 to 15, and 26 to 29, 2021 as the trial dates.

On July 20, it was reported that Ahmad also failed in his bid to strike out the charges.

He also withdrew his subsequent appeal at the High Court to appeal his failed bid to strike out the charges. 

Ahmad, 54, who is Pontian Member of Parliament, is charged with money laundering by not stating his real income, after receiving RM2 million from Najib, in the Income Tax Return Form for the year of assessment 2013.

By doing so, he is said to have violated Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967.

The former deputy minister allegedly committed the offence at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), Duta Branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim on April 30, 2014.

He is charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activity Act 2001 (AMLATFPUA) where if convicted, he stands to face a maximum RM5 million fine or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

Ahmad is also charged with giving false statements to the MACC when questioned by investigating officer Principal Senior Assistant Superintendent Mohd Zairi Zainal, about the former issuing a media conference statement at the Parliament between 2:45pm and 3:30pm on July 4, 2019.

This charge is framed under Section 32(8)(c) of the AMLATFPUA which brings a maximum fine of RM3 million or a maximum jail term of five years or both if convicted.

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