The Sessions Court here has sentenced Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli to 18 months in jail for unauthorised possession of the 1MDB audit report and exposing it to the media.
Though the 18 months jail term is separate for each offence, they will be served concurrently.
However, Judge Zulqarnain Hassan granted a stay of execution pending an appeal in the High Court.
On Apr 5, he was detained by police outside of Parliament building around 6.20pm to be investigated under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.
The PKR vice president and secretary-general, was charged with illegal possession of page 98 of the Audit Report on 1MDB, an offence under the OSA.
He allegedly committed the offence at the Parliament Building lobby here at 3pm on March 24, under Section 8(1)(c)(iii) of the Official Secrets Act 1972, which carries a jail term of up to seven years upon conviction.
Below are the six facts on the case:
1. Many would have forgotten what was it that YB Rafizi Ramli had “exposed” using the OSA document.
2. In March 2016, YB Rafizi had used the OSA document to support his two allegations – that 1MDB has business links with Lembaga Tentera Angkataan Tentera (LTAT) and this has led to some 110 armed forces veterans not being paid their gratuity on time.
3. The fact that 1MDB had business links with LTAT is public information since 2013 when a public statement was made by 1MDB that it had awarded LTAT a RM2.1 billion contract for their part to construct 8 military bases across the country and for costs to move the Sungai Besi airbase to the new 750 acres replacement air base in Sendayan.
4. LTAT, which also owns Affin Bank, had subsequently clarified that there is no truth to YB Rafizi’s allegations. LTAT also clarified that 70 out of the 110 veterans were already paid while the remainder encountered problems due to incomplete information given by the veterans.
LTAT had since initiated legal action for defamation against YB Rafizi for his unfounded and damaging allegations.
5. As such, YB Rafizi had unnecessarily broken the OSA laws for accusations that are either already public information or factual. A sacrifice that can only be called to be in vain.
6. We note that this OSA conviction is the fourth court case that YB Rafizi Ramli had lost in a row within this calendar year. He was found guilty and fined by the courts for incitement in January and in early November.
In October, YB Rafizi was also found to have defamed the National Feedlot Corp (NFC) and was ordered to pay RM300,000 in damages. The court had investigated and ruled that there is no truth to Rafizi’s allegations that NFC had used or leveraged government funds to purchase properties.and court to NFC – a long standing allegation made by the opposition and is now found to be untrue.