SHAH ALAM: The Session Court today jailed Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli for 30 months for leaking bank accounts relating to the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) subsidiary companies and executive chairman Salleh Ismail six years ago.
This means that Rafizi will be unable to stand in the coming election if he fails to set aside today’s conviction and sentence.
This is because Article 48 of the Federal Constitution disqualifies a person from being an MP for five years should the elected representative be convicted and sentenced to more than one year in jail, or fined more than RM2,000.
Besides this, Rafizi also has an OSA conviction for leaking page 98 of the classified 1MDB audit report at a press conference. He was jailed 18 months for this by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in 2016, and the jail sentence was upheld by the High Court in August last year.
However, he was acquitted on the charge of possessing the audit report.
Today, judge Zamri Bakar also jailed former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad for 30 months for abetting Rafizi. They were found guilty under the Banking and Financial Institution Act, or Bafia.
“The two accused failed to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case,” Zamri said.
However, the court allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentences to allow their lawyers, Ahmad Nizam Hamid and Latheefa Koya, to file appeals.
Rafizi, the former PKR strategy director, had claimed trial to the charge under Section 97(1) of Bafia in August 2012.
The maximum fine for exposing bank accounts under Bafia is RM3 million, or a three-year jail sentence, or both.
Johari had claimed trial to a charge under Section 112 (1)(c) for abetting Rafizi.
However, the trial only started last year, as Rafizi had filed several applications to quash his charge under the now defunct Bafia and had questioned the validity of this banking law.
The government repealed Bafia in 2013 and replaced it with the Financial Services Act.
The prosecution called 19 witnesses while Rafizi and Johari gave sworn statements.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission said Rafizi will remain as Pandan member of parliament.
New Straits Times reported EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah as saying it was too soon for EC to comment on Rafizi’s status as Pandan MP and whether he was eligible to contest in the upcoming general election.
“This is because Rafizi has the right to appeal (the court ruling) and he has yet to exhaust all legal options,” he said in a statement today.