Top spy chief Hasanah released

MOHD HUSNI MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid, held for investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds meant for the 14th General Election, was released today.

Magistrate Nik Muizzuddin Nik Muhammad ordered the release and instructed Hasanah to surrender her passport to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Hasanah’s lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz said the MACC made the request for Hasanah to surrender her passport and set bail at RM50,000.

Khairul said, he had argued on the bail money because there was no legal justification for it for a release from remand.

“The magistrate has decided for our client to surrender her passport, but she still can request for the travel document to go abroad, provided an application letter is submitted to the MACC,” he added.

Khairul said Hasanah was in good health throughout her remand period and also praised the level of professionalism showed by the MACC during the interrogation.

She is being investigated under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for abuse of power for gratification.

Last Thursday, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Bakiwas reported as saying the commission had recovered RM27.4 million of the RM49.5 million believed to have been taken by the senior MEIO officers.

Hasanah’s deputy, along with six others from the same office, was detained in relation to the missing millions.

They are administrative and diplomatic services (PTD) officers between Grade 44 and 48. However, all of them were released on Saturday.

The money, in the form of RM980,000 and US$6.4 million (RM26.4 million), was recovered following the arrests of Hasanah and the officers. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd