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Rafizi fails in bid to refer constitutional questions to High Court

SHAH ALAM, June 19 (Bernama) -- The Sessions Court here today dismissed an application by PKR secretary-general Mohd Rafizi Ramli to refer to the High Court on three constitutional questions in relation to the charge he is facing under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA).

Judge Zamri Bakar dismissed the application on the findings that the questions were raised by Mohd Rafizi himself and not by the court or the prosecution.

"So, it is appropriate for the applicant himself to refer the three questions to the High Court. Therefore, the application is dismissed," he added.

The court then set Aug 10, 11, 12 and 20, Sept 30 and Oct 1 and 2 for hearing of Mohd Rafizi's BAFIA case.

Zamri also rejected an application by Mohd Rafizi's lawyer, N. Surendran, to postpone the hearing.

Mohd Rafizi, who is also PKR vice president, filed the application together with bank clerk, Johari Mohamad, represented by lawyer Latheefa Koya.

The application was made in accordance with Section 30 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 for a ruling on the question of whether the charge against Mohd Rafizi and Johari could continue as the BAFIA was repealed two years ago and replaced with the Financial Services Act 2013.

They also wanted a ruling on the question whether the charge made under BAFIA was unconstitutional elements as the intention was not stated as an element of offence in the Act.

Surendran, when met by reporters, said his client would appeal against the decision and also filed an application at the High Court to postpone hearing of the case.

Mohd Rafizi, 38, had pleaded not guilty to disclosing documents comprising balance summaries relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), National Meat & Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd and NFC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail bank accounts to media consultant Yusof Abdul Alim and The Star reporter, Erle Martin Carvalho.

He was charged with committing the offence at the PKR headquarters in Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana Selatan, Petaling Jaya, on March 7, 2012.

The charge under Section 97(1) of BAFIA, punishable under Section 103(1)(a) of the same Act, carries a maximum three-year jail sentence or RM3 million fine, or both, upon conviction.

Johari, 44, also pleaded not guilty to conspiring with Mohd Rafizi on the same date and address. He is charged under Section 112 (1)(c) of BAFIA, and punishable under Section 103 of the same Act.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Nazrul Nizam Mohd Zameri and Mohd Haziq Dhiyauddin Razali.


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