‘YU­SOF SOROS’ HIT WITH 15 GRAFT CHARGES

For­mer spe­cial of­fi­cer to city coun­cil mayor claims trial to all charges

New Straits Times - - News - ARNAZ M. KHAIRUL AND KELLY KOH MELAKA news@nst.com.my

AHIGH-FLY­ING for­mer spe­cial of­fi­cer to the Melaka His­tor­i­cal City Coun­cil mayor was yes­ter­day charged with 15 counts of money-laun­der­ing and crim­i­nal breach of trust in­volv­ing trans­ac­tions worth RM19.3 mil­lion at the Ses­sions Court here.

Datuk Mohd Yu­sof Abu Hasan, pop­u­larly known as Yu­sof Soros, was ar­rested by the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) on Mon­day evening and pleaded not guilty to all 15 charges filed by deputy public pros­e­cu­tor Afzainizam Ab­dul Aziz be­fore judge Norma Is­mail.

Four charges were un­der Sec­tion 409 of the Pe­nal Code for crim­i­nal breach of trust, where Yu­sof was al­leged to have acted as an agent for Taraf Budi De­vel­op­ment Sdn Bhd and SP En­ter­prise Sdn Bhd, and de­posited four che­ques to­talling RM11.2 mil­lion into his own ac­counts at two banks in Melaka Raya.

The of­fences were al­leged to have been com­mit­ted be­tween Feb 23 and Aug 10 last year.

Un­der Sec­tion 409, he is li­able to a max­i­mum jail term of 20 years with whip­ping and fine, if con­victed.

Yu­sof also faced 11 charges un­der Sec­tion 4(1)(b) of the An­tiMoney Laun­der­ing and Anti-Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing Act 2001 for mov­ing RM8,188,074.87 gained from il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween March 3 and Aug 23 last year.

Each charge car­ries a max­i­mum jail term of 15 years, whip­ping and a fine of five times the amount in­volved, or RM5 mil­lion, which­ever is higher.

Yu­sof, who ar­rived at the court ac­com­pa­nied by sup­port­ers at 10.45am, was rep­re­sented by Azrul Zulk­i­fli Stork and Datuk Khairul An­war Rah­mat, while the pros­e­cu­tion saw Afzainizam along­side Ah­mad Akram Gharib, on be­half of MACC.

Yu­sof stood in the dock wear­ing a white shirt and jacket, and sim­ply nod­ded that he un­der­stood each charge read out to him, then claimed trial to all charges.

Af­ter the plea was recorded, Afzainizam pointed out to the judge that among the charges were sev­eral non-bail­able of­fences, but pro­posed a bail of RM3 mil­lion to be set, should the court de­cide to do so, due to the sever­ity of the charges.

“Breach of trust is a se­ri­ous of­fence. RM3 mil­lion is a log­i­cal sum and with suf­fi­cient con­di­tions that there needs to be a surety and the ac­cused’s pass­port needs to be sur­ren­dered to the court.

“He also needs to re­port to the Melaka MACC of­fice ev­ery month,” said Afzainizam.

Azrul then pleaded on be­half of Yu­sof that the ac­cused had all his as­sets frozen by MACC and was the sole bread­win­ner for his wife, eight chil­dren, an ailing mother and sib­lings who are work­ing with him.

Norma set bail at RM1.6 mil­lion in one surety and or­dered Yu­sof to sur­ren­der his pass­port to the court and re­port to the Melaka MACC of­fice each month dur­ing the trial pe­riod.

Yu­sof first hit the head­lines on Nov 28, when he was re­manded to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions, with MACC then an­nounc­ing that two of his bank ac­counts con­tain­ing mil­lions of ring­git had been frozen and var­i­ous as­sets seized.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tions came un­der me­dia scru­tiny when Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Idris Haron ad­mit­ted in Jan­uary that he had been vis­ited by MACC to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the case.

On April 23, the New Straits Times re­ported that Yu­sof had been ap­pointed into a spe­cial func­tions po­si­tion in the state ma­chin­ery, fol­low­ing which MACC con­firmed that he would be fac­ing charges soon.

PIC BY KHAIRUNISAH LOKMAN

Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion of­fi­cers es­cort­ing Datuk Mohd Yu­sof Abu Hasan, for­mer spe­cial of­fi­cer to the Melaka His­tor­i­cal City Coun­cil mayor, to the Ses­sions Court in Melaka yes­ter­day.

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