Johor land scandal: High Court rejects Abd Latif's request to review remand period

Ahmad Fairuz Othman

JOHOR BARU: The High Court today uphold a lower court's decision to detain Datuk Abd Latif Bandi for seven days, to facilitate Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) probe into an ongoing real estate corruption scandal in the state.

High Court Judge Datuk Indera Mohd Sofian Abd Razak ruled that it would uphold the seven-day remand order that was granted by the magistrate's court to have the state executive council member detained.

Latif's lawyer Abd Rahim Ali and his team has recently filed an application to review the period of remand as they argued that the court should provide a reason to have their client detained for seven days under Section 117 (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Sofian, however said that after reading the letter and report of proceedings at the magistrate's court, it was found that the lower court used its discretion to impose the remand.

MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib prosecuted.

Latif's was represented by a team consisting of Rahim, Ibrahim Haikal Razak, Adzly Manas and Mohd Fairuz Mahmood.

Latif, 51, appeared in court today in his orange lock-up attire. Several family members and supporters were also seen in the gallery.

Latif, who was the Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, was detained on March 9 to help in the MACC investigation on a real estate corruption scandal involving losses of tens of millions of ringgit worth of potential housing revenue for Johor.

Another seven people, including Latif's son and his special officer were among those detained in the course of investigations but were later released on bail.

The MACC had also frozen RM15.5 million in 45 bank accounts and seized 21 luxury cars, five high-powered motorcycles and RM500,000 in local and foreign currencies.

On March 1, the state executive council allowed for a request from Latif to take leave from his state government duties for an undetermined amount of time.