The embattled firm said the charges were valid as the PKR leader had exposed personal accounts not related to NFCorp.
KUALA LUMPUR: Embttled National Feedlot Corporation said today the charges against Rafizi Ramli should stay as the PKR leader had violated the Banking and Financial Institution Act (BAFIA) by exposing personals accounts of its chairman.
“NFCorp wishes to state that the financial bank documents distributed by Rafizi Ramli in violation of BAFIA at his news conference of March 7 were bank balance summaries of deposit accounts, loan accounts and the personal account of its chairman.
“The loan accounts were not connected to NFCorp,” the National Feedlot Centre operator, now accused of swindling taxpayers money, said in a statement.
The company went on to say that Rafizi had also exposed details to personal loans taken by Mohamad Salleh Ismail in 2005 long before NFCorp was established and 2008 before KL Eco City properties were launched for sale three years later.
Rafizi had said the loans were taken for the purchase of KL Eco City office lots.
“And although Rafizi went on at length to explain at his news conference that loans were taken for KL Eco City office lots, no such loans were ever taken.
“Rafizi had fabricated a story to deceive the media and the public. He had used bank financial summaries to make it appear they were connected when in actual fact they were not,” said the company.
The PKR leader had sought to dismiss the charges against him after claiming the prosecution was abusing its power to gag him from further exposés on the NFC scandal.
His lawyer, N Surendran, was quoted to have told reporters outside the court, “It also goes against public policy because what Rafizi has done is to expose abuse of public funds.”
The NFCorp runs the NFC, a RM250 million federal-funded cattle farming project that has been at the centre of a major national scandal.
Its chairman, Salleh, is the husband of former minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who’s term as senator was discontinued after the controversy was seen as a threat to the ruling coalition’s elections chances.
The charge proffered under Section 97(1) of the BAFIA stated that Rafizi had disclosed four customer account profiles detailing the balance summary for the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp), the National Meat and Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience and Industries Sdn Bhd and Salleh, to two individuals identified as Yusuf Abdul Alim and Erle Martin Carvalho.
Under Section 103(1)(a) of the same law, he may be fined a maximum of RM3 million and jailed up to three years if found guilty, which could seriously hobble Rafizi’s chance of standing as a candidate in the 13th general election that must be held by April next year when the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s mandate expires.
Former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad was also charged on Aug 1 with abetting Rafizi in disclosing the account profiles for the same four customers, under Section 112(1)(a) of the BAFIA, read together with Section 91(1) of the same law that deals with confidential banking information.