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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Prominent lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik today confirmed he will be the lead defence counsel for former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is charged with power abuse and money laundering in relation to the Jana Wibawa programme.
Hisyam replaces another lawyer Chetan Jethwani who previously appeared for Muhyiddin when the Pagoh MP was charged in the Sessions Court last month.
“Yes confirmed,” Hisyam told Malay Mail when contacted today.
The law firm Chetan Jethwani & Co remains Muhyiddin’s solicitors on record.
Muhyiddin’s case marks the second time Hisyam is representing a former prime minister who has been charged in court.
The veteran lawyer had briefly appeared as lead counsel for Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the Federal Court in appealing his conviction and 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine in misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
Hisyam is currently the lead counsel for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi graft cases.
Early last month, he represented a young woman Sam Ke Ting in the Court of Appeal who was seeking to overturn her conviction for reckless driving that killed eight teen cyclists on illegally modified bicycles back in 2017, and won.
Muhyiddin was charged with four counts of corruption and three counts of money laundering last month.
The Jana Wibawa, or “Program Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputera Berwibawa”, was launched by the Muhyiddin administration with the professed aim of improving the capacity and resilience of Bumiputera contractors in construction, ostensibly to support Malaysia’s post-pandemic recovery.
Under the first charge, Muhyiddin is accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM200 million from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd on behalf of Bersatu. The offence was allegedly committed at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.
For the second count, Muhyiddin was charged with soliciting bribes of RM1 million from Nepturis Sdn Bhd on behalf of Bersatu. The alleged offence was committed at the same premises between March 20 and August 20, 2021.
The third and fourth charges involved bribes worth RM19.5 million from Mamfor Sdn Bhd and RM12 million from Azman Yusoff. Both the alleged offences were also said to have taken place at the prime minister’s office between March 20 and August 20, 2021.
For the first money laundering count, the Bersatu president was accused of receiving RM120 million from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd on behalf of his party and depositing it into its CIMB account. The alleged offence was committed at the bank’s Menara KL, Stesen Sentral, branch here between February 25 and July 16, 2021.
Under the second charge, Muhyiddin was also accused of receiving bribes worth RM75 million from the same company and had deposited it into the same account at the same branch but in the year after. The alleged offence was said to have taken place between February 8 and July 8, 2022.
For the third charge, Munyiddin was accused of receiving RM5 million in alleged proceeds from unlawful activities from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd which was deposited into Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s AmBank account.