Five of the 35 corruption charges against former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman involving US$63.3 million were withdrawn by the prosecution in the High Court today. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAAL

KUALA LUMPUR: Five of the 35 corruption charges against former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman involving US$63.3 million were withdrawn by the prosecution in the High Court today.

When the case came up for case management today, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar applied to withdraw the five charges involving US$13.2 million, and for the accused to be given a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA).

“The accused still has 30 corruption charges against him and investigation is still going on,” he told the court.

The DPP also informed the court that the prosecution had made some amendments to the existing 30 charges involving US$50.1 million and 16 money laundering charges involving more than US$37.8 million and S$2.5 million.

The amendments related to the date, transaction and names of contractors, he said.

He requested for the amended charges to be read to Musa, who was allowed to remain seated in the dock due on health reasons.

Musa, 68, claimed trial to all the charges.

On the 30 counts of corruption, Musa in his capacity as Sabah chief minister and Sabah Foundation Board of Trustees chairman allegedly received US$50.1 million from eight logging concessionaires as an inducement to approve logging concessions to 16 companies.

He was alleged to have committed the offences at eight banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong, China and Singapore between Dec 20, 2004, and Nov 6, 2008.

The charges framed under Section 11 (a) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 and punishable under Section 16 of the same act carries upon conviction, a maximum 20 years’ jail and fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

On the money laundering charges, Musa allegedly instructed Richard Christopher Barnes, 67, to open an account at UBS AG Bank, Singapore, under the name of Richard Christopher Barnes, through which he intended to receive proceeds from illegal activities.

Musa also faces alternative charges of concealing proceeds from illegal activities.

On the second to ninth and 11th to 15th charges, Musa allegedly received US$37,845,491.60 in proceeds from illegal activities from several individuals through an account under Barnes’ name.

On the 10th charge, he allegedly received S$2.5 million in proceeds from illegal activities, through the same account.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed Feb 28 for case management.

Musa was represented by counsel Francis Ng Aik Guan. - BERNAMA