The Johor Bahru Sessions Court has acquitted Abd Latif Bandi and two others of 37 corruption and money laundering charges.
Also freed alongside the former Johor exco are his son Ahmad Fauzan Hatim and property consultant Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub.
According to The Star, Sessions Court judge Kamarudin Kamsun said today that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the trio.
Kamarudin ordered a full discharge and acquittal for all three suspects, and ordered the bail amount to be returned immediately. The judge, however, said the MACC has 14 days to appeal the decision.
The MACC, in a statement later, confirmed that it would appeal against the acquittal at the High Court, upon deliberation with the deputy public prosecutor.
"The appeal will be filed within the 14 days set by the court," it said.
Latif and the two others were slapped with corruption charges involving land costing more than RM30 million in 2017.
Of the charges, 33 were under Section 28(1)(C) of the MACC Act 2009, and four under Section 32(8)(c) and Section 89 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
They were charged with receiving the funds as kickbacks for changing the bumiputera status of the land.
Following Latif's arrest, MACC raided his home in Johor Bahru and seized 150 luxury handbags and a luxury vehicle.
Throughout the trial, some 63 witnesses were questioned, reported The Star.
The trio was represented by a team of lawyers led by Hasnal Rezua Merican, while deputy prosecution officers Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry and Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman appeared for MACC.