Apandi to Thomas: Appealing an acquittal in a criminal trial is normal

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Dec 2019

PETALING JAYA: Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali reminded his successor Tan Sri Tommy Thomas that filing an appeal in a criminal case should not come as a "shock".

He said that the Attorney General's Chambers should remain apolitical after media reports claimed Thomas was shocked that the AGC had appealed against the acquittal of PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli without his knowledge.

Rafizi had been acquitted of an offence under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for allegedly revealing bank accounts related to National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).

"I wish to state that filing of notice of an appeal in a criminal trial after an acquittal by the trial court, is almost automatic because it is a practice adopted by the AGC, since the days of (former AG) Tan Sri Abu Talib.

"After filing such a notice, the AGC will normally study the grounds of judgement given by the trial judge, and then decide whether to proceed or not with the appeal.

"This is done based on the long practice of the prosecution in this country to have 99% evidence to secure a conviction, then only a criminal charge is preferred.

"That is how the AGC is apolitical and any prosecution is based strictly on the facts and the law," he said in a statement.

Thomas was quoted as saying that he was shocked because the decision to appeal was made without his knowledge and that it was decided after a discussion he had with Election Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun that they would not be appealing.

Thomas reportedly told theedgemarkets.com that the decision was conveyed to the relevant officers.

The High Court in Shah Alam had on Nov 15 acquitted and discharged Rafizi after overturning his conviction last year of revealing bank accounts related to NFC, its subsidiary companies and its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

In February last year just before the 14th General election, Rafizi and former bank clerk Johari Mohamad were sentenced to 30 months' jail by the Shah Alam Sessions Court for flouting Bafia.

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