Ex-bank CEO’s RM600,000 fine for banking rules breach stays

smail ZakariaPUTRAJAYA: Former Sime Bank chief executive officer Ismail Zakaria’s conviction and RM600,000 fine by a High Court last year on four charges under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) 1989 stands.

This follows the decision of Ismail’s family members to withdraw his appeal in the Court of Appeal today.

“We have received instructions to withdraw the appeal as the appellant (Ismail) is mentally incapacitated due to a stroke,” lawyer Kitson Foong told a three-man bench chaired by Zakaria Sam.

The wheelchair bound Ismail was in court today with his family members.

Zakaria said the conviction and fine imposed by the High Court was upheld and Ismail’s appeal struck out.

Ismail had earlier paid the fine.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Samiha Razaali told reporters the government had also withdrawn its cross-appeal to enhance sentence on humanitarian grounds.

Ismail was charged with approving credit facilities amounting to RM175 million to Everise Capital Sdn Bhd between Sept 20 and Oct 21 in 1997 in his office at the Sime Bank building in Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

On Sept 12, 2011, Ismail was acquitted by the Sessions Court.

On appeal, High Court judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman imposed a RM150,000 fine for each of the charges, or 10 month’s jail.

The judge said he had to consider the seriousness of the offences and public interest.

Government lawyer Abdul Rashid Daud, who is also the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ commercial and cyber unit head, pressed for a higher fine to serve as a deterrent.

He did not press for a custodial sentence as Ismail was also suffering from stroke then.

Those convicted under Section 65(1) of Bafia can be fined up to RM5 million or jailed up to five years, or both.