With his GE15 eligibility and MP status on the line, Ku Nan to appeal conviction

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor will be appealing his sentence, says his lawyer.

Datuk Tan Hock Chuan confirmed that the defence would file the notice of appeal as soon as possible, perhaps even tomorrow (Dec 22).

Earlier Monday (Dec 21), during proceedings, Tan had brought up the issue of the current government’s slim majority, saying that though political developments should not be a concern, for the purpose of sentencing, the court's decision would have an effect.

Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution states that MPs are disqualified if convicted of an offence and sentenced to a jail term of more than one year and fined more than RM2,000.

Under Article 48(4)(b), upon such a conviction, an MP’s seat will not be vacated, as long as that MP files an appeal within 14 days – and the seat will not be vacated until all legal avenues have been exhausted and the conviction stands.

Tengku Adnan would also not be able to contest in the next election if he fails to resolve the sentence in his corruption case, says lawyer Syahredzan Johan.

Earlier Monday, High Court Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan sentenced Tengku Adnan, better known as Ku Nan, to 12 months’ jail and fined him RM2mil after finding him guilty in an RM2mil corruption case.

Syahredzan tweeted that the Putrajaya MP would not be qualified to contest should his appeal against the sentence not be allowed, or if the quantum of the fine did not go below the disqualification threshold.

He explained a different section of Article 48 also prohibited MPs from running if they had a sentence hanging over them, even if the appeal was pending.

Asked if Ku Nan’s defence that the slim majority in Parliament, where the current government would be affected if he was disqualified from his MP position, was a factor, Syahredzan believed it did not affect the Justice’s decision.

“From the reports, the Judge himself did not think that it is relevant. So there is nothing to suggest that his decision factored that in.

“I cannot fault the defence counsel for forwarding that issue. He is duty-bound to make all potentially relevant circumstances known to the judge, ” he told The Star.

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