KOTA KINABALU – Saying it is impossible for his clients to raise RM12 million for their bail, counsel PJ Pereira said Friday he would be appealing the punitive sum imposed on former Sabah Water Department director Ag Mohd Tahir Ag Mohd Talib and his wife Fauziah Piut.
“We intend to pursue this matter as it is impossible my clients can raise such an amount of money for their bail,” he was quoted saying in the Star.
Pereira said that the appeal would be filed at the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Jan 3.
Pereira was not in court on Thursday when Ag Mohd Tahir was slapped with 12 anti money laundering charges, while Fauziah faced 19 similar charges.
He was represented by lawyers, Hairul Vaiyron and Ariel C Dasan.
Hairul in arguing for Ag Mohd Tahir’s bail to be fixed at RM10,000 for each charge, said bail should not be excessive to the point of penalising his clients.
In arguing for the RM10mil bail for Ag Mohd Tahir, Deputy Public Prosecutor of the MACC Husmamuddin Hussin said the property seizures in the case were the largest so far made by the MACC and any other enforcement agency.
The offence is related to the corrupt act by a civil servant entrusted to manage an important resource – water, Husmamuddin said.
According to Pereira, Ag Mohd Talib and his wife could not liquidate any of their properties which had been frozen by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.
Ag Mohd Talib faces eight charges of being in possession of RM56.9mil cash in four bank accounts, two charges of owning six luxury vehicles and a charge of owning 86 types of branded watches.
Ag Tahir also faces another charge of being directly involved in handing over RM14,000 to one Cristine Fiona M Ponsoi.
The charges were framed under Section 4(1) (b) and Section 4(1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
Fauziah faces 19 charges for being in possession of more than RM2.2mil in 18 bank accounts.
She is also accused of using proceeds from illegal activities to own 93 branded hand bags.
Also charged with them is former department deputy director Lim Lam Beng, 64, who faces four anti money laundering charges involving properties and cash totalling RM2.3mil.
All three claimed trial to the charges after being produced before Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad on Thursday.
The three appeared calm throughout the proceeding although Ag Mohd Tahir was seen shaking his head after Ummu Kalthom set bail at RM10mil.
The trio were only notified late on Wednesday that they would be charged today.
The Star also reported that Fauziah, a housewife, only knew that she too would be charged together with her husband when they were called in to the MACC office at about 6pm.
According to Lim’s counsel Chin Teck Ming, Lim had actually voluntarily declared his assets and offered to be charged today.
In the courtroom, the three accused nodded and said they understood the charges against them and pleaded not guilty to all charges.