KUALA LUMPUR: A senior lawyer has been sentenced to six years’ jail and fined RM80,000 for using two forged power of attorney documents and giving a false statement in court proceedings.
S. Kanawagi, 66, who has been a lawyer for 25 years, did not show any reaction upon hearing the verdict yesterday.
Sessions Court judge Rosenani Abd Rahman allowed the lawyer’s application for stay of execution pending appeal and increased the bail from RM200,000 to RM400,000.
The judge ruled that the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“It is clear that the accused had intention to use the documents as genuine and cause wrongful loss to the 13th prosecution witness (a property owner).
“The accused could have taken action to redeem the property, which was mortgaged by its owner to Citibank,” she said.
Rosenani said that evidence from four prosecution witnesses had shown that both documents were forged.
She held that one of the clients of the accused and his former office boy were also used as “tools to fulfil his goal”.
Rosenani held that Kanawagi’s defence was mere denial and afterthought.
The judge made the ruling after hearing evidence from 14 prosecution witnesses and 24 defence witnesses.
Kanawagi had claimed trial to dishonestly using a power of attorney document at the High Court in Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad on May 24, 1994, when he knew it was forged.
He faced a second charge of giving a false statement in the proceedings of a civil suit in relation to the same property on Feb 13, 1995. He is said to have made the statement in his affidavit affirmed on Feb 13, 1995 when he knew it to be false.
He faced a third charge of dishonestly using a forged power of attorney document at the High Court at the same place on Aug 7, 1993.
The two power of attorney documents were said to be for the transfer of ownership of a piece of property in Bangsar where the accused has his office.
DPP S. Devanandan applied for a deterrent sentence on the grounds that the accused did not show any remorse and had made many applications to delay his trial.
“This case was tried before a same judge for 11 years. The accused has made many applications, tormenting others in this case,” he said.
Devanandan said the accused, as a legal practitioner, should have known the consequences of his actions.
Counsel Hasnal Rezua Merican applied for leniency and asked the court to consider his client’s age and health.
Hasnal asked the court to consider that Kanawagi was a first offender and that the case might have an impact on his legal practice.