Court acquits three found guilty of providing false information to Bursa Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Two former company directors and a former accounts manager who were sentenced to jail and fine for furnishing false information to Bursa Malaysia had their convictions overturned by the High Court here on grounds of unsafe convictions.

Kosmo Technology Industrial Bhd former managing director Datuk Norhamzah Nordin, 55; former director Mohd Azham Mohd Noor, 55, and former accounts manager Helen Lim Hai Loon, 50, were acquitted of the charges against them after High Court judge Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed their appeal here on Wednesday (Dec 2).

In his decision, the judge said the main issue raised in the appeal was the misdirection of the trial judge at the Sessions Court.

Justice Jamil said the trial judge had failed to consider the testimony of a defence witness who was an audit committee member.

"According to the Criminal Procedure Code, the court must consider the testimonies of witnesses including the defence witness.

"The failure to consider the testimony of the said witness had seriously prejudiced all of the appellants," he said.

Justice Jamil added that the lower court's failure was a misdirection that warranted the court's intervention.

"In my opinion, the Session Court judge's failure to consider the witness' testimony was a grave injustice.

"I therefore allow the appeals. The convictions are overturned," he said.

The court also ordered for the fine and bail in the case to be returned to the appellants.

The appellants were represented by lawyers Datuk C. Vignesh Kumar, Daniel Annamali, PG Cyril and Magita Hari Mogan.

Deputy Public Prosecutors from the Securities Commission (SC) Shoba Venu Gobal and Hashley Tajudin appeared for the respondent.

In 2011, Mohd Azham and Norhamzah were charged at the Sessions Court with eight counts of furnishing false statement in the company's income statements for the year 2006 and 2007 to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd at the Exchange Square, Bukit Kewangan between 2006 and 2008.

They were charged under Section 122B (a)(bb) of the Securities Industry Act 1983 read together with Section 122(1) of the same Act, which carries a maximum fine of RM3mil or up to 10 years imprisonment, if convicted.

Meanwhile, Lim was charged with eight counts of abetment in relation to the earlier charges.

In May last year, the Sessions Court convicted and sentenced Mohd Azham and Norhamzah each to pay a fine of RM1.45mil and serve a two-year jail term.

Lim was fined RM560,000 and ordered to serve a one-year jail term for abetment.

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