Malaysia: Govt appeals ‘acquittal’ of 1MDB critics – 1 Jun 2017

  • The government has filed an appeal against the decision of the Sessions Court in giving an outright acquittal to former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang for allegedly sabotaging the nation’s banking and financial services.
  • Khairuddin’s lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) filed a notice of appeal on May 19, a week after the Sessions Court’s decision.
  • On 12 May 17, Wan Norisham said the outright acquittal was appropriate as the prosecution had not presented any evidence linking them to the charge. Government lawyer Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud informed the court that the prosecution was discontinuing the case.
  • However, Khairuddin and Chang’s lawyers insisted their clients should be acquitted as there should be no charge hanging over their heads. If an acquittal is given, the prosecution cannot charge them again on the same facts but a discharge would enable the prosecution to frame the same charge against them later.
  • Haniff had said that merely being present at five overseas police stations by the two did not amount to committing the offence as charged. Both were jointly charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code in late 2015 for being at the police stations to make reports against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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