PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has allowed former Sabah infrastructure development minister Peter Anthony to adduce fresh evidence for use at his final appeal against his conviction for forgery.
A three-member bench chaired by Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera allowed Peter to introduce the evidence during the appeal hearing after the prosecution, the respondent in the appeal, said it had no objections to the application.
Also on the panel were Justices Azman Abdullah and Azizul Azmi Adnan.
Outside court, Peter’s lead counsel Nicholas Kow told the media that the application, filed late last year, was to include into evidence a police report lodged by a crucial witness.
Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told reporters the prosecution did not oppose the application as the report had no impact on its case.
Peter, 53, the managing director of Syarikat Asli Jati at the time, was convicted by the Kuala Lumpur sessions court for forging a letter from the office of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice-chancellor dated June 9, 2014, by inserting a false statement, intending to use it for fraudulent purposes.
Sessions court judge Azura Alwi found that Peter committed the offence at the office of the principal private secretary to then prime minister Najib Razak at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya between June 13 and Aug 21, 2014.
Azura sentenced Peter to three years’ jail and fined him RM50,000, which he has paid.
In the appeal to the High Court last year, Justice Ahmad Bache said the trial judge did not commit any error, either in law or in fact, when finding the Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat president and Melalap assemblyman guilty of the charge.
Ahmad agreed that the defence had failed to create a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case. He said the prosecution’s case relied on three key witnesses, all of whom were found to be credible in their testimony.
“The trial judge was correct in her findings that the defence was a bare denial and an afterthought,” he said.
Ahmad also said Peter’s failure to put forward his defence at the prosecution stage of the case was a “disastrous” error on his part.