KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — The corruption trial of former Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and his brother Datuk Abdul Latif was postponed today to allow the Baling MP to attend today’s Parliament sitting.
Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi agreed to vacate the day’s proceedings, which would have otherwise seen the first witnesses testify in the case, following an application from Abdul Azeez’s lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.
Hisyam told the court Abdul Azeez was needed in Dewan Rakyat after it was made compulsory for all government lawmakers to be present today when the finance minister tables the Temporary Measures for Reducing The Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019(Covid-19) Bill 2020 for its second reading.
“We are asking for today’s trial be vacated as the accused has to attend the tabling which will begin at 11.30am, where all government lawmakers have to be present,” Hisyam told the court.
Azura then allowed for the day’s proceedings to be vacated and for the trial to resume tomorrow, with both Deputy Public Prosecutors Aslinda Ahad and Nik Haslinie Hashim not raising objections.
Abdul Azeez’s trial was scheduled to begin today and run until tomorrow, before the next trial date on September 7.
It is understood that a total of nine witnesses have been prepared by prosecutors to take the stand tomorrow.
In January 2019, Abdul Azeez, 53 claimed trial to three charges of allegedly receiving bribes totalling RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah, as well as nine charges of money laundering, involving almost RM140 million.
Abdul Latif, 62, is accused of abetting Abdul Azeez.
Abdul Azeez is accused of committing the bribery offences at the CIMB Bank branch at Menara UAB, Jalan Tun Perak, here on Dec 8, 2010, and at Affin Bank Berhad, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, in Petaling, Selangor, on June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018.
He is accused of committing the money laundering offences in the Klang Valley area between March 8, 2010 and August 30, 2018.
The charges have been brought under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.