PUTRAJAYA: Four former directors of gold investment firm Genneva Sdn Bhd failed in their third attempt at the Court of Appeal to get a stay of execution on their eight-year jail sentence pending the hearing of their review application.
The four men – Ng Poh Weng, 67, Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, 65, Chin Wai Leong, 41, and Liew Chee Wah – were convicted for money-laundering and illegal deposit taking involving transactions worth more than RM200 million.
The three-man bench comprising Justices Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid and Zaleha Yusof unanimously dismissed their application after ruling that there were no special circumstances for the court to grant the stay.
Tengku Maimun, who chaired the bench, also rejected their application to have them released on bail pending the hearing of their review application.
She said that since the applicants were convicted and sentenced by the apex court, and unless their conviction and jail sentences were set aside, they must serve the sentence.
Tengku Maimun set April 24 for the hearing of the review application.
On Feb 21, a Court of Appeal three-man panel led by Justice Mohtarudin Baki convicted them on 154 charges of money-laundering and four counts of illegal deposit taking and sentenced them to eight years jail and fined each of them RM1 million.
The court also sentenced them to five years in jail and a fine of RM1 million in default one year’s jail for charges of illegal deposit taking, and another three years’ imprisonment for money-laundering.
That panel also convicted Genneva on five counts of receiving deposits from the public without a licence and fined it RM2 million.
The four men subsequently filed the review application at the Court of Appeal and sought a stay of the prison sentence as well as bail.
Their two earlier attempts to get a stay of execution on the prison sentence and bail were rejected by two different Court of Appeal panels on Feb 22 and Feb 28 this year, respectively.
On May 16, 2013, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court freed the four after finding that the defence had raised reasonable doubt over the prosecution’s case.
On Sept 20, 2016, the Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld the Sessions Court decision after finding that the investment company was only carrying out physical gold trading activities and there was no evidence of illegal deposit taking.
Lawyers Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harpal Singh Grewal represented Chin, counsel Nicholas Kow appeared for Ng and Yee, and lawyer Keppy Wong acted for Liew.
Deputy public prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah appeared for the prosecution.