KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court today sentenced PKR’s Rafizi Ramli to 18 months’ jail over two charges of leaking a classified 1MDB audit report.
Justice Zulqarnian Hassan said Rafizi would serve concurrently the 18 months’ prison sentence for each of the offences.
In an immediate reaction, the PKR secretary-general, who risks losing his status as the Pandan MP following the decision, said he would file an appeal.
Article 48 of the Federal Constitution disqualifies a person from being a member of parliament for five years should he be convicted and sentenced to more than one year, or fined more than RM2,000.
However, the court granted Rafizi’s application for a stay of execution pending his appeal.
Outside court, Rafizi’s counsel, Gobind Singh Deo told reporters that despite the jail sentence, Rafizi would not lose his parliamentarian seat as the latter has not exhausted his right to appeal.
“The court granted a bail of RM6,000 pending the appeal. However, he will not be able to stand in the general election if Parliament is dissolved pending his appeal,” he said, adding that he would file his client’s appeal at the end of today.
Earlier, Zulqarnian said Rafizi had failed to raise reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.
“The accused said he could not enter his defence as the impugned page 98 was not complete and not produced in court,” he said.
However, the video on the press conference showed he was aware of the details on the page, he added.
The evidence produced before the court on Rafizi’s blog and Facebook was sufficient to show details on page 98, said the judge.
The packed court fell silent as the judge read his verdict. Among those who turned up were MPs Wong Chen from PKR, Raja Bahrin Shah from Amanah and Mahfuz Omar from PAS.
Rafizi claimed trial on April 8 after he was slapped with two charges under Sections 8(1)(c) and 8(1)(e)(iii) of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
It was alleged that he possessed a leaked page 98 of the 1MDB audit report, a government secret, at a press conference.
He reportedly committed the offence at Parliament building in the late afternoon between March 24 and 28.
Rafizi was represented by a team of lawyers lead by Gobind Singh.
Deputy public prosecutors Shukor Abu Bakar and Zharfan Hamzah appeared for the prosecution.
Rafizi said he was not surprised by the decision, adding that today was “just another day”.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he posted on Twitter.
He also urged supporters not to feel sad, stressing he was prepared for the consequences.
“Now I really have to get down to finishing my book before I go in. I just completed the content page.”