Wednesday, January 26

Four politicians to testify in money laundering trial

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KOTA KINABALU: Four politicians, a civil servant and three bankers will testify in the trial of Gemilang Mirza director Awang Binting Pengiran Mat Salleh on 11 counts of money laundering involving RM377,048.06.

Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad allowed Awang Binting’s counsel Hamid Ismail’s application to subpoena the witnesses to testify for Awang Binting who has been called to enter his defence following an order made by the High Court which overturned another Sessions Court judge’s earlier decision in acquitting him of the charges.

Ummu Kalthom took over the trial from court judge Azreena Aziz who had recused herself from presiding the case as one of the defence witnesses is related to her.

On April 24, last year the High Court here allowed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of Awang Binting on February 17, 2011 and subsequently, ordered him to enter his defence on all the 11 charges, as evidence adduced by the prosecution has established the indictments against him.

Ummu Kalthom set April 26 for Awang Binting to enter his defence.

Seven of the 11 charges stated that Awang Binting, 49, had allegedly laundered a total of RM215,400 to pay for his life insurance, insurance product, premium insurance and unit trusts at Malayan Banking Berhad at Jalan Pantai here between March 19 and Dec 16, 2008.

One of the four charges accused Awang Binting of having laundered RM10,000 as a deposit to open his bank account at United Overseas Bank Berhad at Jalan Gaya here on November 10, 2008.

The other three charges accused him of possessing a total of RM151,648.06 earned from illegal business activities at Malayan Banking Berhad here and Public Bank Berhad in Papar on April 3, 2009.

Each of the charges stipulated under Section 4 (1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing (AMLATF) Act 2001 carries a fine not exceeding RM5 million and a jail term of up to five years, upon conviction.