Pandan MP to stand trial for violation of banking secrecy over NFC documents

PUTRAJAYA: Pandan Member of Parliament Mohd Rafizi Ramli has to stand trial in the Sessions Court for allegedly violating the Banking andFinancial Institutions Act (Bafia) by revealing confidential banking details linked to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) issue.

This follows the Court of Appeal's decision Thursday which dismissed his appeal to strike out the charge.

A three-member panel chaired by Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali said there was no merit in the appeal.

"Allegation that the charge is against public policy is not grounded in evidence," he said.

Justice Apandi ordered the trial to proceed expeditiously as he said it was a case of public interest.

The case has been fixed for mention at the Sessions Court in Shah Alam on June 10.

At the hearing of the appeal Thursday, Rafizi's counsel R. Sivarasa submitted that the charge against his client should be thrown out on grounds it was against public policy.

He said the prosecution against Rafizi, 37, on the Bafia charge was oppressive and an abuse of court process, adding that the public prosecutor had bad intention in prosecuting him (Rafizi).

Justice Apandi told Sivarasa that the public prosecutor, who is also the Attorney-General, had been given wide discretionary powers under the Federal Constitution.

The judge said the court had inherent powers, including under the Criminal Procedure Code, to strike out the charges but it must be “of rare and exceptional circumstances.” Deputy Public Prosecutor Nahra Dollah did not make any oral submission on the instruction of the panel, which said that they had read the prosecution's and Rafizi's written submissions.

Rafizi was charged in August last year with revealing four Public Bankcustomer-profile documents on the balance summaries of the NFC, National Meat and Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhdand NFC chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

He allegedly disclosed the documents to media consultant Yusuf Abdul Alim and to The Star reporter Erle Martin Carvalho at Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) headquarters at Merchant Square in Petaling Jaya on March 7 last year.

On Sept 10, last year, Rafizi, who is PKR director of strategy, filed an application to strike out the charge.

He lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal after his application was dismissed by the High Court on Nov 23, last year.

Sivarasa told reporters that an appeal would be filed to the Federal Court. - Bernama

Related Stories:
Court dismisses Rafizi's bid to strike out Bafia charges over NFC
Court: Get your papers in order
PKR's Rafizi bids to quash Bafia charges
PKR's Rafizi charged with violating Bafia over NFC scandal
NFC chief meets central bank officials

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