Vindicated: Wan Manan (left) leaving the Sessions Court a free man.
KUALA TERENGGANU: A consulting civil engineer was acquitted and discharged by the Sessions Court here in connection with the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin stadium roof collapse in 2009.
Judge Mohd Azhar Othman ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Wan Manan Wan Ali, 53, of Kuala Terengganu.
The judge made the ruling yesterday after hearing from 10 witnesses and submissions from DPP Farah Yasmin Salleh and Wan Manan’s counsel Haresh Mahadevan.
On Feb 1, 2011, Wan Manan was accused of acting like an accredited examiner in issuing a document, dated Jan 15, 2009, on the main roof truss system and its associated works for the proposed Terengganu Sports Complex.
He was alleged to have signed and given the document to the then state Public Works Department director Rosli Zainal and deceived then state secretary Datuk Mokhtar Nong into believing he was the accredited checker between Jan 15 and March 29, 2009, at the state PWD office here.
The offence under Section 419 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to seven years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
Haresh said: “Throughout the trial, we maintained that Wan Manan had never tried to pass himself off as an accredited checker.
“He signed off as an independent checker, which is clearly stated in the document.”
Both the PWD director and the state secretary, during the trial, denied that they were duped by Wan Manan into believing that he was an accredited checker, Haresh told reporters after the decision.
Wan Manan, who was all smiles, said the decision had vindicated him.
“During the three years after I was charged, my business and my reputation were severely affected.
“Now that my name has been cleared, I hope for a change in fortune,” he added.
The roof of the RM292mil stadium collapsed on June 2, 2009, less than a year after it was opened to host the 2008 Malaysia Games (Sukma).
The investigation committee set up by PWD cited serious engineering flaws, shoddy workmanship, inferior materials and lack of expertise in the project management team as factors in the collapse.
The committee also determined that the design failed to take into account the support condition of the roof structure.
On Feb 20 last year, a steel structure holding up the stadium’s roof collapsed during dismantling work, injuring five workers.