AG shocked? It’s SOP, says ex-AG

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 08 Dec 2019

PETALING JAYA: Former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pic) has reminded his successor Tan Sri Tommy Thomas that filing an appeal in a criminal case should not come as a “shock” and that the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) should remain apolitical.

He said this in response to media reports claiming that Thomas had expressed shock that the AGC had, without his knowledge, appealed against the recent acquittal of PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for allegedly revealing bank accounts related to National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).

“I wish to state that the 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 judgment 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 yesterday.

Thomas has been quoted by a news portal 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 the AGC would not be appealing. reported Thomas as saying that the decision had been 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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