PUTRAJAYA: A High Court judge was wrong in ordering a lower court to admit the testimony of five witnesses taken in a Hong Kong magistrates court pertaining to the trial of Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday.
Chias counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the High Court, in exercising its revisionary powers, had in fact allowed a back door appeal when in law, interim appeals governing such matters were not sanctioned.
Where there is a situation where appeal is an avenue, revision should not be used as a back door, he said.
Muhammad Shafee said that even though the judge had used his paternal supervisory powers, it must be exercised in the clearest of cases in which the lower court acted without power or passed a sentence out of its range, for instance.
It must be so obvious a mistake that the judge can call for the record. Corroborative to that, nobody has a right to submit, he said.
On April 29, the High Court in exercising its revisionary powers, had overturned a Sessions Court's decision to reject the prosecutions application to produce the evidence from Hong Kong in Chias CBT trial.
Chia, 72, is appealing against this High Court decision.
He is charged with misappropriating RM76.4mil from Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development Sdn Bhd on Feb 19, 1994.
Chia also faces an alternative charge of dishonestly disposing of the companys funds.
The trial before Sessions Court judge Akhtar Tahir continues on Aug 10.
The appeal before Court of Appeal judges Justices Dennis Ong, Abdul Aziz Muhammad and Azmel Maamor continues today.