‘Forces’ working within AGC to discredit Thomas, alleges lawyer

DAP Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh says the image of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as guardian of justice in this country, must be jealously protected.

PETALING JAYA: The “defiance” of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ decision not to appeal against the acquittal of Rafizi Ramli shows that there are forces working within the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to discredit him, a DAP MP said.

Describing this as “worrying”, Ramkarpal Singh said however he welcomed the confirmation by Thomas that he did not sanction the appeal and that he would rescind it on Monday.

A lawyer for PKR vice-president Rafizi had been informed earlier yesterday the AGC had filed an appeal against his acquittal under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for allegedly revealing bank accounts related to National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).

Nik Zarith Nik Moustpha said the defence team was notified of the appeal through an email from the Court of Appeal’s registrar.

Lawyer Zaid Malek, representing former Public Bank officer Johari Mohamad, who was accused of conspiring with Rafizi, also confirmed that they had been notified of the appeal by the court registrar, and that March 9 had been fixed as the appeal’s mention date.

In a statement today, Ramkarpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP National Legal Bureau chairman, said even if Thomas does not rescind the appeal on Monday, its legality is questionable as only the AG has the power at his discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to sanction it.

“This surely implies that if such an appeal is filed on his behalf by one of his deputies, it must, nevertheless, be sanctioned by him.

“As it is clear now that there was no such sanction, Rafizi’s defence team ought to take the necessary steps to strike out the said notice of appeal if Tommy does not withdraw it himself on Monday,” he said.

He called for “stern action”, including possible dismissal, against those behind “such an act of defiance and sabotage”.

“The image of the AGC, being the guardian of justice in this country, must be jealously protected,” he said.

The High Court in Shah Alam had, on Nov 15, acquitted and discharged Rafizi after overturning his conviction last year of revealing bank accounts related to NFC, its subsidiary companies and chairman Salleh Ismail.

Rafizi was accused of disclosing the bank accounts while Johari was accused of conspiring with him at the PKR headquarters in Merchant Square, Petaling Jaya, on March 7, 2012.

The Sessions Court had initially found them guilty under Bafia, which has since been replaced by the Financial Services Act 2013, and handed them a 30-month jail sentence.

Following their appeal, the High Court decided to free the duo, ruling that some documents produced during the trial were inadmissible as they were not in their original form.