KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court has quashed three criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges against former director of Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Datuk Dr N. Sundra Rajoo, involving AIAC funds of more than RM1mil.
Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi, in her decision, said that she was bound by a High Court decision Dec 31,2019, which ruled that Sundra Rajoo was entitled to immunity from prosecution for acts done in his official capacity.
“The bail money (RM100,000) is to be refunded and his (Sundra Rajoo) passport to be returned, ” Azura said here on Wednesday (Jan 22).
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohd Zaki Mohd Salleh asked the court to fix another date for case management on grounds that the High Court had erred in its decision and an appeal against the decision had been filed.
Azura, however, dismissed the request.
During submissions earlier, Sundra Rajoo's lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu contended that the Sessions Court was bound to abide by the High Court's decision and that the charges against his client should be quashed.
“If the High Court’s order is not followed, it will constitute contempt, ” he said.
On Dec 31, last year, High Court judge Justice Mariana Yahya allowed Sundra Rajoo’s judicial review application over his entitlement for immunity from any charges.
In allowing the application, Mariana ruled that since Sundra Rajoo was "conferred by law", he has immunity from being sued and from other legal processes under Part II of the Second Schedule of the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1992 (Act 485).
As such, the court ruled that the three charges framed against Sundra Rajoo null and void.
Sundra Rajoo, 63, who was the head of AIAC from 2010 until late 2018, filed a leave for judicial review proceedings at the High Court Registrar's Office on March 4,2019, seeking a declaration that he has immunity as a former high-ranking officer of AIAC for acts done within his official capacity.
He is also seeking an order of prohibition preventing the Attorney General from laying any charge or bringing any proceedings in any court in Malaysia against him with regard to anything done by him in his capacity as director of AIAC, and more specifically with regard to any act or omission by him during his term of office as director of the centre in relation to the property, funds or documents of the centre or otherwise, howsoever in relation to the affairs of the centre.
He also sought an order of prohibition preventing the MACC from arresting, detaining, issuing any warrant or other or otherwise bringing any judicial proceedings whatsoever against him with regard to anything done by him in his capacity as director of AIAC, and more specifically with regard to any act or omission by him during his term of office as director of the centre in relation to the property, funds or documents of the centre or otherwise howsoever in relation to the affairs of the centre.
On March 26,2019, Sundra Rajoo pleaded not guilty at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) - RM89,700, RM621,172.50 and RM300,495 - of the funds belonging to the centre at Bangunan Sulaiman, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin here between Dec 8,2016, and Aug 17,2018.
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