KUALA LUMPUR (May 29): The warrant of arrest issued by the High Court against former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid has been cancelled today.
High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the ruling after Hasanah gave her reasons for missing and offered her unconditional and unreserved apologies to the court for not being present during the case management on May 24.
However, Justice Collin ordered Hasanah, who was present in the court today, to attend all future case management with at least one of her bailer or surety.
The High Court issued the warrant of arrest on May 24 after Hasanah failed to show up for her US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) criminal breach of trust case without giving any reason.
According to Hasanah, she was not advised by her counsel to attend the case management on May 24 and her counsel had also forgotten to inform her.
“At the material time, she was at her home,” said one of her counsel Datuk Shaharudin Ali in their application to cancel the warrant of arrest.
However, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad stressed that Section 172B of the Criminal Procedure Code required the attendance of the accused person (in this case Hasanah), even during case management.
Hasanah, 62, was formerly the director-general of the research division in the Prime Minister's Department.
She was alleged to have committed criminal breach of trust by misappropriating US$12.1 million between April 30 and May 9 last year.
She has been charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, whipping and fine, if convicted.
She was allowed to post a bail of RM500,000.00 with two sureties and to surrender her passport to the court after she was charged.
Her case was previously heard before the Sessions Court, prior to a transfer application by the prosecution for the case to be heard before the High Court, which was not objected to by Hasanah, who had preferred that the case be handled by a senior judge.