KUALA LUMPUR: Former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Ramli Yusuff was acquitted of not disclosing information on his assets and shares more than two years ago.
Comm Ramli, 58, who now owns a law firm, was in tears upon hearing the verdict in a packed courtroom. While trying his best to smile, he kept wiping his eyes with a handkerchief. His family also sobbed openly.
Relatives and friends clapped hands and cheered his freedom at the public gallery. They hugged and congratulated him.
He immediately embraced his lead counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and thanked him for his work.
In acquitting him, Sessions Court judge M. Gunalan said the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Comm Ramli for all three charges.
Gunalan said the prosecution had failed to adduce credible evidence through 35 witnesses against Comm Ramli.
Therefore, he said the court had to discharge and acquit Comm Ramli without calling him to enter his defence.
Comm Ramli had claimed trial to failing to disclose information on his interest in two office units worth RM1,032,840 and his ownership of RM154,000 worth of shares in Permaju Industries Bhd as well as 20,000 units of shares in Telekom Malaysia.
He is said to have committed the offences at the then Anti-Corruption Agency headquarters in Putrajaya on Sept 17, 2007.
In his grounds, Gunalan said the “question of legal interest by the accused in the properties (office units) can be totally ruled out.”
“The registered owner of the said properties is a private limited company called Bonus Circle Sdn Bhd. The accused is neither a director nor shareholder of this company. The only shareholders and directors at the material time are his sisters.
“Any individual, regardless of his contributions to or participation in the company, cannot, in law, have any rights or interest in the company’s immovable assets,” he said.
He said the accused did not benefit at all from the assets and that the accused had only participated in the management of the company.
On the second charge for the Permaju shares, Gunalan said Comm Ramli had no intention to conceal the shares as he had enclosed a statement of account from a bank on its transactions and actual balance when making his declaration to the ACA.
On the third charge over the Telekom shares, Gunalan ruled that the charge was groundless.
“The charge states that he failed to disclose the ownership on Sept 17, 2007 when in fact he had yet to own the shares,’ he said.
In elaborating, Gunalan said although Comm Ramli had placed an order for the Telekom shares on Sept 13, 2007, the accused had only became the owner of said shares on Sept 19, 2007.
In an immediate response, Comm Ramli said justice had been delivered.
“Thank God. I have been vindicated from all these false allegations. I have lost everything -- my rank, my career and reputation,” he said, adding that he was grateful to his wife Datuk Anita Harun for her moral support throughout his ordeal.
Lead prosecutor DPP Datuk Abdul Razak Musa said he would appeal against the court ruling.
On July 27, 2008, the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court freed him over a charge of abusing his powers in 2007.
Comm Ramli still has a trial pending at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, which was scheduled for a week from March 22, for allegedly taking part in business as a company director while holding his previous post in 2006.