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High Court grants Abdul Azeez stay pending appeal in corruption trial

KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): The High Court here granted a stay pending an appeal in the corruption trial of Lembaga Tabung Haji's ex-chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (pictured) today. 

Abdul Azeez is appealing against a High Court decision made last month which upheld 13 corruption and money-laundering charges against him. 

High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed the application by Abdul Azeez’s lawyers due to “special circumstances”. 

Following the High Court’s decision today, Abdul Azeez's trial before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi will be on hold until his appeal in the Court of Appeal is done. Abdul Azeez's trial for the aforementioned 13 charges is currently ongoing in the Sessions Court. His legal counsel made the appeal against his charges in the High Court last month and is now allowed to appeal against the High Court’s decision in the Court of Appeal.

Abdul Azeez was represented by lawyers Amer Hamzah Arshad and Joshua Tay today.

Justice Jamil last month dismissed Abdul Azeez’s application to strike out all 13 corruption and money-laundering charges against him. 

He surmised that the applicant had failed to prove the prosecution against him was mala fide, oppressive and an abuse of court process.

In legal context, mala fide means illegal or dishonest.

Justice Jamil said last month: "In my view, this case is not an appropriate and proper case for the court to exercise its existing power to set aside and quash the charges against the applicant for him to be acquitted of all the charges."

Abdul Azeez is facing three counts of bribery involving RM5.2 million linked to road projects in Perak and Kedah, and 10 counts of money laundering involving nearly RM140 million, while his brother Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Rahim is charged with abetting him.

According to news reports, Abdul Azeez, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Baling, is accused of committing bribery at CIMB Bank, Jalan Tun Perak here on Dec 8, 2010, and at Affin Bank, Pusat Bandar Puchong in Selangor on June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018, while the money-laundering offences were allegedly committed in the Klang Valley between March 8, 2010 and Aug 30, 2018.

Abdul Latif is reportedly accused of abetting Abdul Azeez in obtaining a RM4 million bribe from Mohammad Redzuan Mohanan Abdullah as gratification to help Syarikat Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd secure road projects through a limited tender from the Ministry of Works.

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