KUALA LUMPUR — Judge Rozina Ayob of the Shah Alam Sessions Court while having declared that it would not be in the best interest of justice to preside in the case of PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as they are related, should also recuse herself from hearing Rafizi Ramliâ€™s BAFIA case.
Nik Nazmi reports to PKR secretary general and strategy director Rafizi Ramli who is being charged in the BAFIA case in her court.
MStar quoting a Bernama wire, published that Judge Rozina had Wednesday sought to withdraw from hearing Nik Nazmiâ€™s Peaceful Assembly Act, 2012 violation case as her father had indicated that their families were related.
â€œOn the premise of this relationship, the Attorney General and the DPPs for the Rafizi Ramli BAFIA case should be alerted to file a recusal because of a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality,â€ said National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.
â€œMy lawyers have advised that regardless of the decision made by Judge Rozina at the end of the case, the whole integrity of the trial would be questioned, especially in the light of the family relationship between her and PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad,â€ emphasised Salleh.
Judge Rozina Ayob had earlier set 15 May to hear an application by Rafizi to refer to the High Court three constitutional questions in relation to the charge he is facing under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA), 1989.
Rozina had rejected a preliminary objection raised by the prosecution on the Pandan MP’s application.
Rafizi together with Public Bank Berhadâ€™s ex employee Johari Mohamad were arrested and charged at the Shah Alam sessions court on 1 August 2012 with violating Section 97 (1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act, 1989 (BAFIA) which carries a maximum three-year jail sentence or RM3 million fine, or both, upon conviction.
Lies, Distortions and Misrepresentations
To fortify his groundless accusations, Rafizi distributed 21 Public Bank Berhad accounts to mislead the mainstream, the electronic, and Internet news portals alleging Salleh had defaulted on the servicing of loans for eight KL Eco City office lots with arrears from March 2011 to February 2012. The arrears Rafizi alleged, was apt to jeopardize a RM71 million government loan deposit placed at the bank.
That has since been proven to be untrue as documents tendered and testified in court showed that no such loans were ever taken by Sallah from Public Bank Berhad for the KL Eco City properties.
Rafizi lied, distorted and misrepresented the confidential banking information to the utter detriment of the plaintiffs and is being sued by NFCorp and its chairman in a separate law suit scheduled to commence trial from 26-30 October 2015.
â€œIt is pointless for Rafizi to challenge the constitutionality of BAFIA as the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court had unanimously opined and ruled that the charges against Rafizi under BAFIA are not mala fide, oppressive or politically motivated,â€ reiterated Salleh.
â€œHence Rafiziâ€™s application is certainly redundant and res-judicata as the Courts had already decided on the said issue before.
â€œThis application to challenge BAFIA is actually an attempt by Rafizi to delay the trial of the charges against him and thus by extension, delaying and denying our entitlement to justice and punishment on the very person who had wronged NFCorp and myself,â€ he said.
Rafizi was charged for disclosing confidential banking information of National Feedlot Corporation, National Meat & Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd and NFCorp chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail to media consultant Yusof Abd Alim and The Star reporter, Erle Martin Carvalho.
If convicted, Rafizi is likely to lose his MP status.