Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been acquitted by the excessive court docket of 4 corruption expenses, days after his opposition bloc expanded its affect in native elections
ByEILEEN NG Related Press
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was acquitted by the excessive court docket of 4 corruption expenses on Tuesday, simply days after his opposition bloc expanded its affect in native elections.
Muhyiddin, 76, mentioned the excessive court docket dominated in favor of his utility to overturn 4 expenses of abusing his energy to acquire 232.5 million ringgit ($50 million) in bribes for his Bersatu celebration. He was charged in March and nonetheless faces three expenses of cash laundering involving 200 million ringgit ($43 million).
“From the beginning, I’ve mentioned that these are politically motivated expenses. I’ve not achieved something incorrect … and as we speak it has been confirmed that these have been false allegations,” he instructed reporters exterior the courthouse.
His lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, mentioned the court docket agreed with the protection rivalry that the fees have been faulty legally and lacked particulars on how the offenses have been dedicated. With the collapse of the 4 foremost expenses, Teh mentioned they have been assured the opposite three money-laundering expenses wouldn’t stand. The graft expenses revolved across the award of contracts to chose ethnic Malay contractors allegedly in return for bribes, and approving an enchantment by a enterprise tycoon over the cancellation of his tax exemption.
Prosecutors mentioned they’d enchantment the court docket’s resolution.
Muhyiddin is the second former chief charged with crimes after ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak, who acquired a number of expenses after shedding a 2018 normal election. Najib started a 12-year jail time period final yr after shedding his last enchantment within the first of a number of graft trials.
Muhyiddin’s authorized victory got here simply days after fiercely contested state elections returned the established order. However his Malay nationalist Perikatan Nasional (PN) bloc, which features a conservative Islamic celebration, additional expanded its affect among the many nation’s majority Malays in an final result that deepened Malaysia’s ethnic polarization.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has rejected accusations that the fees towards Muhyiddin have been politically motivated and famous the investigations have been carried out independently by the anti-graft company. After taking energy in November, Anwar ordered a assessment of presidency initiatives accredited by previous administrations together with Muhyiddin’s authorities from March 2020 till August 2021. Anwar has mentioned most of the initiatives have been overpriced and awarded with out tenders.
Two senior members of Muhyiddin’s Bersatu celebration have been additionally charged with graft. The anti-graft company additionally froze Bersatu’s celebration accounts.
Anwar and Muhyiddin fought for the premiership after November’s normal election produced a hung parliament. Muhyiddin’s PN bloc acquired stronger-than-expected assist from Malays, who account for two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million individuals. The king later appointed Anwar as prime minister after he shaped a unity authorities with former rivals.
This story corrects Muhyiddin’s age to 76.