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Ex-Tabung Haji chairman Abdul Azeez's family fail to get stay in forfeiture gazette

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): Former Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim's (pictured) family today failed to get a stay from the High Court here against the prosecution's move to gazette a notice of forfeiture involving RM16 million from them.

The decision was made by Justice Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin after hearing submissions from Abdul Azeez's family led by lawyers M Athimulan, A Ashok and Suraya Abu Hassan.

Justice Muhammad Jamil said there were no special circumstances for the court to grant a stay in the forfeiture proceedings.

“Furthermore, the defendants did not file any affidavits in reply and hence there is no issue of disclosure which the defence say would prejudice this criminal case,” he said.

Abdul Azeez is also the Baling Member of Parliament (MP).

Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Nik Haslinie Hashim and Aslinda Ahad appeared for the prosecution.

Subsequently, Justice Muhammad Jamil fixed March 26 for the court to gazette the notice of forfeiture to allow third parties to claim from the amount.

The prosecution had named Abdul Azeez's wife Khadijah Mohd Nor, his sons Mohamed Khairul Anwar and Mohamed Khairul Azman, daughters Khaleeda Azwa and Khaleeda Azeera, and family-linked company Azeera Management Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd as respondents in the case in a bid to recover the RM16 million.

The money is said to have been kept in their Tabung Haji accounts and frozen since December 2018.

Azeera Management Consultants is one of the companies said to be involved in Abdul Azeez's corruption and money-laundering case, where he is standing trial with his brother Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Rahim. The former Tabung Haji chairman's wife and children are said to be directors of the company.

Abdul Azeez, 53, is charged with accepting bribes totalling RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering involving nearly RM140 million. Meanwhile, Abdul Latif, 62, is charged with abetting his brother.

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