SHAH ALAM: Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli was today jailed 30 months by the Sessions Court for revealing bank accounts relating to the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) subsidiary companies and executive chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail six years ago.
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, who was formerly PKR strategy director, claimed trial to the charge under Section 97(1) of Bafia on 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The government repealed Bafia in 2013 and replaced it with the Financial Services Act.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.
Rafizi has another conviction under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in 2016, 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.
Rafizi will be unable to stand in the coming election if he fails to set aside the OSA conviction along with the 18-month jail sentence, and also this Bafia-related sentence.
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.
Meanwhile, in an immediate response, Rafizi said he was “somehow glad” he had been given a jail sentence instead of a fine.
“If the court had imposed a hefty fine, I would not be able to pay and (would) have to be taken straight into custody,” he said.
He added that if he was taken to prison, he would not be able to campaign for Pakatan Harapan in the general election.
However, Rafizi said he was confident his appeal would be allowed on technical grounds.