MACC loses yet again to Muhyiddin lawyer Rosli Dahlan
BERSATU contended that the actions by MACC were actuated by PMX to financially cripple BERSATU from having any funds in facing the elections. BERSATU also contended that the freezing of its accounts was unjustified as BERSATU has never been charged for any AMLA offence.
Kuala Lumpur (October 30): The High Court (Appellate and Special Power division) today granted leave for the BERSATU judicial review application to challenge the seizure orders imposed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on its party accounts.
The decision was made by Justice Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid who ruled that Muhyiddin’s party BERSATU has shown there is a prima facie case to challenge the legality of the seizure orders. Ahmad Kamal pointed out that the AGC cannot rely on old cases, which are no longer good law. The current law is that the exercise of criminal investigative powers and the decisions of the Attorney General is amenable to judicial review.
Previously, on May 30, Judge Ahmad Kamal had also granted leave for BERSATU to challenge the freezing orders imposed on BERSATU. Both the judicial review on the freezing orders issued in Jan this year and the seizure orders issued on April 11 will be fixed for common case management on November 28.
In both judicial review applications, BERSATU contended that the actions by MACC were actuated by PMX to financially cripple BERSATU from having any funds in facing the elections. BERSATU also contended that the freezing of its accounts was unjustified as BERSATU has never been charged for any AMLA offence.
BERSATU had filed a further affidavit to point out that on Aug 15, Muhyiddin had been discharged and acquitted as the High Court found that he had been charged for an offence unknown in law. As such, the continuous freezing and seizure of BERSATU’s accounts is mala fide.
Rosli Dahlan, who appeared on behalf BERSATU confirmed the decision. BERSATU was also represented by lawyer Chetan Jethwani, Amiratu Al Amirat and Tang Jia Yearn. The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) were represented by senior Federal Counsel, Ahmad Hanir Hambaly and Federal Counsel Imtiyaz Auni.
In January, BERSATU’s accounts were frozen which led to BERSATU and its President to file the first application for judicial review naming the MACC and 16 of the commission’s officers, including its Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and its investigation division Senior Director, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim. The Court also allowed Muhyiddin to challenge the travel ban by the Director General of the Immigration Department. Leave for the first judicial review was granted on 30 May this year by Judge Dato’ Ahmad Kamal.
Subsequently, MACC had announced that it had already seized BERSATU’s bank accounts before the expiry of the freezing. BERSATU has accused MACC of backdating the seizure orders and filed its second judicial review application on May 29 to review the legality of the MACC’s conduct but this was fixed for hearing only after Muhyiddin was acquitted and discharged by the High Court on August 15.
Based on the second leave granted this morning, the High Court will now consider both judicial review together as to whether the freezing and seizure were lawful.