Rafizi sentenced to 30 months jail

Mohd Rafizi Ramli

 

SHAH ALAM: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli was today sentenced to 30 months’ jail by the Sessions Court here today after he was found guilty under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) with  disclosing banking information of four parties to the media  six years ago.

Judge Zamri bakar also handed down a similar sentence on former bank clerk Johari  Mohamad after finding the man guilty of conspiring with Mohd Rafizi, who is also Pandan Member of Parliament, in committing the offence.

Zamri handed down the sentence after finding that the defence by Mohd Rafizi and Johari failed to raise reasonable doubts against  the prosecution’s case, conducted by deputy public prosecutors Lailawati Ali and Steve Chin.

“After making a maximum evaluation of the testimony by witnesses, the court is satisfied that the prosecution has succeeded in establishing a case beyond reasonable doubts.

“Therefore, both the accused is found guilty and convicted of the offence,” he said.

The court, however, allowed a stay of the sentence pending an appeal following requests by lawyers Latheefa  Koya, representing Johari, and Ahmad Nizam Hamid, who represented Mohd Rafizi.

Zamri also retained the bail of RM15,000  each on Johari and Mohd Rafizi.

Mohd Rafizi, 41, was charged with disclosing documents comprising balance summaries relating to NFC, National Meat & Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd and NFC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail bank accounts to media consultant Yusof Abdul Alim and The Star reporter, Erle Martin Carvalho.

He was charged with committing the offence at the PKR headquarters in Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana Selatan, Petaling Jaya, on March 7, 2012.

The charge under Section 97(1) of BAFIA, punishable under Section 103(1)(a) of the same Act, carries a maximum three-year jail sentence or RM3 million fine, or both, upon conviction.

Johari, 47, also pleaded not guilty to conspiring with Mohd Rafizi on the same date and address. He is charged under Section 112 (1)(c) of BAFIA, and punishable under Section 103 of the same Act.

Nine prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses were called to testify during the hearing.

In mitigation,   Ahmad Nizam said his client was just doing doing his duty and responsibility to explain to the people the matter, while Latheefa said it was his client’s first offence and that in the case, there was no evidence from the prosecution which showed that Johari had benefited from the action.

Lailawati asked for a punishment which commensurate with the offence on both the accused ad the action in disclosing the banking information was a serious offence.

“The offence was also planned. When the first accused (Mohd Rafizi) received the information, he had prepared a four-page press release and called for a press conference  to explain the information. This shows he has the time to consider the information that was obtained.

“The second accused (Johari) has worked for 13 years and I believe, with his vast experience, he knows the responsibility to not to expose banking information that he has access to.

“If this is allowed, I fear the  public will get the wrong message that the offence is not serious,’ she added. – Bernama

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