Free Web Counter Hits since 1 Dec 09

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rosli Dahlan’s Trial begins

December 21, 2009

Rosli Dahlan’s Trial begins: MACC Director Azmi Ismail was evasive when questioned by the Defence

by Debra Chong

The Sessions Court here today finally heard the trial of lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who is implicated in an ongoing corruption case against former senior cop, Datuk Ramli Yusuff.

Rosli, 48, a partner in Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, is accused of hiding information on his assets under Section 32 (1) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997. His trial was originally fixed to begin in April last year.

Under the law, Rosli was required to fully disclose all his assets in a sworn statement to the national anti-graft body, then known as the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) within a certain time period.

The ACA was at the time investigating claims that former Commercial Crimes Department (CCD) chief, Datuk Ramli Yusuff, had secretly stashed a fortune worth RM27 million.

Ramli was charged in September 2007 on three counts of failing to disclose his assets, including shares worth RM154,000 in public-listed company Pemaju Industries Berhad, and Telekom. Rosli, who was then acting for the high-ranking police officer, was brought to book in October that same year.

Ramli’s trial, in its penultimate stage, also took place today but in a separate courtroom and before a different Sessions Court judge, M. Gunalan. He is now represented by veteran lawyer Datuk Shafee Abdullah.

Ramli’s trial started on January 15 last year. Justice Gunalan today fixed submissions for February 9 after hearing the testimony from the prosecution’s 35th witness, deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais.

Rosli Dahlan’s Trial

Earlier, the bespectacled Rosli stood in the dock before Sessions Court judge Abu Bakar Katar while his wife and children looked on from the public gallery.

The MACC, represented by DPP Zulqarnain Hassan, produced the first of six witnesses, Azmi Ismail, who was the ACA director at the time of the charge.

Azmi had hand-delivered a notice issued and signed by DPP Kevin Morais on behalf of the ACA and dated August 24, 2007 which ordered Rosli to reveal all his assets.

But under questioning from Rosli’s lawyer, Datuk K. Kumaraendran, Azmi admitted he did not tell Rosli he was being investigated. Upon further prodding, the graft buster testified that Ramli was regarded as a suspect in the ACA investigation. Azmi added he did not know how the investigation then was linked Rosli.

At this point, Zulqarnain objected to Kumaraendran’s line of questioning, pointing out that the law does not need the prosecution to state where the information to act came from. But the defence lawyer countered that it was necessary.

“I’m trying to establish that they do not have any evidence to start with to confirm that Ramli Yusuff is involved in any corrupt practice. We’re contending that the DPP has no grounds to believe that any offences have been committed. The report did not mention Ramli Yusuff or anyone for that matter,” Kumaraendran stressed.

The judge then allowed him to continue. Azmi admitted that Ramli’s name was never stated anywhere and action was taken based on information received from some other source.

Kumaraendran later told The Malaysian Insider that the ACA must have “reasonable grounds” to believe that Ramli could be prosecuted for an offence before they could order Rosli to disclose sensitive information because “lawyers hold other people’s property in trust”.

The trial will resume tomorrow at 9am.


Post a Comment

KOTA RAJA DAILY (EN). Design by Wpthemedesigner. Converted To Blogger Template By Anshul Tested by Blogger Templates.