By S. Harrish
THE Court of Appeal has acquitted and discharged Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor of corruption and set aside his 12-month jail sentence and RM2 million fine.
Justice Datuk Suraya Othman, who read the 2-1 majority decision, said the High Court judge had erred in its judgment in finding the appellant (Tengku Adnan) guilty on the charge, reports Bernama.
The court ruled that the RM2 million was for political donation to Umno for two by-elections.
“The appellant should have been acquitted. We must intervene and allow this appeal. We therefore set aside the conviction and sentence by the High Court judge,” she said.
Ahmad Nasfy Yasin concurred with Justice Suraya, while Justice Datuk Abu Bakar Jais dissented.
On Dec 21 last year, Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan sentenced the former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan, known as Ku Nan, to 12 months jail and fined him RM2 million after finding him guilty.
Tengku Adnan, 70, was charged in his capacity as a public servant, namely Minister of Federal Territories, with having received for himself a total of RM2 million from Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd (AKSB) director Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong via a cheque deposited into a bank account owned by Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, in which Tengku Adnan has an interest in and is known to AKSB as being related to his official duties.
Malaysiakini reports that in the dissenting ruling, Abu Bakar said the lower court had made the correct decision in convicting Tengku Adnan.
He described as “self-serving” in regards to Tengku Adnan’s reliance on Chai’s testimony that the RM2 million was a political donation.
“Chai saying it (RM2 million) being a political donation was only because Adnan told him that the money was for political donation,” Abu Bakar said.
The Court of Appeal judge also pointed out that Adnan had given conflicting statements regarding the alleged Umno receipt that sought to show the RM2 million was meant as a political donation for the party.
Meanwhile in response to the verdict, The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) pointed out that the RM2 million exceeds the spending limit for elections.
Under the Election Offences Act, the election spending limit per parliamentary constituency is RM200,000.
C4 founder Cynthia Gabriel said the amount was way past what is allowed for election spending.
“Where did the rest of the money go? How can he (Adnan) be let off?” Cynthia said in a tweet.