Court orders Peter to file his defence


KUALA LUMPUR: Former Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony will testify under oath from the witness stand after the Sessions Court here ordered him to enter his defence on a charge with falsifying a letter from the office of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Deputy Vice-Chancellor for a system maintenance contract work at the university in 2014.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi made the ruling after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against Peter, 50, at the end of the prosecution’s case.

The court also fixed Jan 3 to 7 next year for the hearing of the defence case.

Peter was given three options – to testify under oath; to give testimony from the dock while not under oath, where he cannot be cross-examined; or to choose to remain quiet.

After the court interpreter explained his options, Peter said he would be testifying under oath from the witness stand.

The former Sabah minister was charged as the managing director of Syarikat Asli Jati with having falsified a letter from the office of the UMS deputy vice-chancellor dated June 9, 2014, by inserting a false statement with the intention to cheat.

The offence was allegedly committed at the office of the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary at the Federal Government’s administrative centre, Putrajaya, between June 13 and Aug 21, 2014.

The charge was framed under Section 468 of the Penal Code for forging a document for the purpose of cheating, which provides for imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine, if found guilty.

He also faces an alternative charge of using a false document as genuine, namely the letter from the office of the UMS deputy vice-chancellor dated June 9, 2014, which had a false statement in the title of the letter, in which he had reason to believe that the document was false.

He was charged with committing the offence at the same place and time.

The charge was made under Section 471 of the Penal Code and is punishable under Section 465 of the same law for forgery, which allows for imprisonment of up to two years, a fine, or both, if found guilty.

The court ordered Peter to defend himself on the charge of forging the letter.

“The court is satisfied that the prosecution has succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against you (Peter Anthony) under Section 468 of the Penal Code for committing forgery by inserting a false statement in the title of the letter of the Office of the UMS deputy vice-chancellor as charged.

“Therefore, you are ordered to defend yourself,” said the judge, as reported by Bernama.

Lawyer Munawar Kabir Mohd Zainal Abidin, representing Peter, said that the defence would call seven witnesses, including those offered by the prosecution.

The prosecution closed its case on Sept 21 after calling 15 witnesses, including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

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