Charged with unauthorised possession and exposing confidential 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) information, Opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said today he is unable to defend himself because the full documents were not presented to court.
The Pandan MP who chose to testify from the dock at the Sessions Court pointed out that only an excerpt of one page from the Auditor-General’s Report on the matter was used in his charge instead of the entire document.
“I am choosing to make my statement from the dock because the basis of my charge is page 98 of the 1MDB Audit report, which has not been brought to the trial up till now.
“With no page 98 of the 1MDB Audit report as stated in the charge, I am being completely prejudiced against as I cannot refer to the document during the defence of my case throughout the trial,” Rafizi said.
The statement was actually delivered from the witness stand because the microphone in the dock was faulty at the time of his testimony.
Earlier in the hearing, his defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo asked for the prosecution’s first witness, National Audit Department deputy audit director Nor Salwani Muhammad, to be recalled for cross-examination.
She confirmed that only an excerpt of the 1MDB Audit report was submitted to the court.
“She confirmed that only part of it and few paragraphs are not there. Some parts are missing,” Gobind told the court.
The lawyer added that his client never had full access to the document, contrary to the prosecution’s assertion. He then displayed the sheet containing the excerpt, which he said was what had been given to the defence.
Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president and secretary-general, was charged with unauthorised possession of page 98 of the 1MDB Audit Report, which is classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.
He is accused of committing the offence at the Parliament lobby on March 24.
Rafizi could be disqualified as an MP if found guilty as the possession charge under Section 8(1)(c)(iii) of the Act provides for a maximum jail term of seven years.
Rafizi is also charged for exposing the contents at a press conference on March 28under Section 8(1)(c)(iv) of the same Act, which also provides for a maximum seven-year jail term upon conviction.
Session Courts judge Zulqarnain Hassan set submissions for October 21 and the submission reply on October 31.
He also set a tentative decision date to be delivered on November 14.