Ex-MEIO director, Hasanah bought six luxury watches worth millions

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Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid used a portion of US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) of government money she allegedly misappropriated to purchase six luxury watches.

This was revealed by the prosecution in their opening statement in the trial of Hasanah’s criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1 million in funds belonging to the government.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad said the prosecution will prove that the accused had misappropriated the monies which she received when she was a public servant eight years ago.

“The prosecution will prove that these monies were entrusted to the accused in her capacity as director-general of the Research Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, who was responsible for the finances of the department.

“We will prove that the monies were aimed for ‘a specific purpose’ but was not done by the accused.

“We also will prove that the accused never handed the monies to the government and asked her employees to buy six luxury watches with a portion of the money instead,” he said.

At least 37 prosecution witnesses will be called and the prosecution will rely on direct, circumstantial and documentary evidence to prove their case.

Earlier, judicial commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahril Mohd Salleh allowed the prosecution’s application to have 11 witnesses testify behind closed doors (in-camera) due to national security issues.

In-camera proceedings are trials where the public and press are not allowed to observe the procedure or process.

Meanwhile, the first witness in the trial, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Assistant officer Muhammad Nizhar recounted how graft busters had conducted several sting operations to gather evidence concerning the case.

He said the MACC’s special task force had initiated an operation dubbed Ops Dinar 2 after learning of criminal breach of trust (CBT) offences carried out by officers in the Prime Minister’s Department.

He said investigations showed millions of ringgit in cash was stashed in various places.

“We eventually arrested a person known as Hasnul Ambia Abdullah Sani during a raid at Block B4 of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya.

“We also raided several other places including at a unit of the Shaftbury Residence in Cyberjaya and a house in Precint 16 in Putrajaya,” he said, adding deputy director-general of the Prime Minister’s Department Research Division Datuk Ruslin Jusoh was also arrested on the same day.

He said the team finally made its first seizure of RM4.01 million during their second raid at the Shaftbury Residence on August 30, 2018, and another RM220,000 from another man’s house in Kuala Terengganu.

The trial before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahril Mohd Salled continues on Oct 8.

Hasanah, who was charged with CBT on Oct 25 last year, is alleged to have committed the activity between April 30 and May 9 at her office in the Prime Minister’s Department Complex in Putrajaya.

The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping and fine, upon conviction.

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