KUALA LUMPUR JULY 22: The Session Courts here today set a bail of RM300, 000 with one surety to the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who was charged on two counts of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) involving RM1 million belonging to his former party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and RM120, 000 to the party youth wing, Armada’s funds.
The court’s judge, Azura Alwi ordered the Muar Member of Parliament (MP) to report to the closest Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office once a month and his passport to be impounded until the case is over.
Defence lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo requested for time to raise funds for the bail but Azura ordered RM50, 000 must be posted by today.
She allowed the defence until Tuesday to raise the balance of the amount. The court then fixed September 10, 2021 for mention of the case.
On the first charge, the 29 year old MP was accused of committing CBT by withdrawing RM1 million cheque from the party’s account without the party leadership’s approval.
Syed Saddiq was accused of committing the offence under Section 405 of the Penal Code at Menara CIMB, KL Sentral on 6th March 2020. The offence carries a maximum 10 years jail, fine and whipping.
For the second charge, he was accused of committing the offence between April 8 and April 21, 2018.
However, Syed Saddiq pleaded not quilty for the two charges after it was read to him in Bahasa Malaysia.
The prosecution led by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Faridz Gohim Abdullah from MACC said the offence was non-bailable but noted that the court could use its discretionary powers to grant bail.
Faridz said, the court could fix RM500, 000 with one surety if a bail is allowed and Syed Saddiq to report to the closest MACC office once a month.
The DPP also requested a gag order to prevent Syed Saddiq from talking about the case outside the courtroom.
Gobind Singh in his reply to the DPP’s application said: “My client is not married and he has three siblings and is an active MP in his constituency. Where is he going to run to?” he said.
On the prosecution’s application for a RM500, 000 bail, he said: “I have represented many similar cases and the bail is normally just about RM20, 000 or RM30, 000…so why ask so much for this, what about him attending Parliament?”
On the gag order, Gobind said the MACC had publicised the charges even before Syed Saddiq was charged but now was trying to silence him.
“You cannot charge somebody and then gag him. If there is anything subjudicious said, they can always seek the court’s redress after that,” Gobind said as reported by New Straits Times (NST).
He added that there was no basis in law for such an application to be made.
Similarly, defence lawyer, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan objected to the gag order application, noting that it was against the freedom of speech as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“What they are saying is that this court will be influenced by whatever is said outside this courtroom.
“That is an insult to the court. We have a robust democracy and the courts have never been influenced by what is said outside,” she said.
“The gag order must be refused,” she said.-Malaysia World News