PETALING JAYA: It was a good week for human rights protection and due process in Malaysia after the Attorney General (AG) decided to withdraw the appeal against PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli’s acquittal.
Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph lauded Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ (pic) decision to drop the appeal, saying it boded well for the rule of law.
“This is about remedying a past Malaysia that actually utilised the power of the law to silence people or voices of dissent.
“There is a whole horde of bad practices that the new government is supposed to remedy and it is doing it, but in the interim, the AG has the discretionary power to try to remedy this on his level.
“So if the court has decided that it is actually giving respect and dignity to an individual who is doing a good thing, then not appealing would have been the natural choice, ” he said.
Joseph added that the prosecution shouldn’t have appealed the court’s decision to acquit in the first place.
Rafizi will remain free of charges of disclosing private banking details linked to National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) after the prosecution decided to withdraw its appeal yesterday.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmee Hameeza Jaafar told a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal, headed by Justice Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, that the prosecution was also withdrawing its appeal against the acquittal of bank clerk, Johari Mohamad from charges of abetting Rafizi.
He said the prosecution filed its notice to withdraw the appeal on Dec 9.
“As such, the prosecution is withdrawing both appeals, ” he said and the court struck out the appeals.
“The order to discharge and acquit by the High Court is upheld, ” said Justice Yaacob.
Sitting on the bench with Justice Yaacob were Justice P. Ravinthran and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.
The Shah Alam High Court on Nov 15 discharged and acquitted Rafizi, 43, and Johari, 49, from charges under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act after allowing their appeal to set aside the conviction and sentence of 30 months’ jail imposed on them by the Shah Alam Sessions Court in 2018.
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