March 18, 2010 | MACC’S APPEAL IN DISMISSED IN SABAH - DATO RAMLI VINDICATED THE 3rd TIME | By Din Merican
There was suspense this morning at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, when High Court Judicial Commissioner Dato’ Abdul Rahman Sebli refused to adjourn the hearing of the MACC’s appeal against the acquittal of Dato’ Ramli Yusuff for the charge of abuse of power in using a police Cessna purportedly to view land that Dato’ Ramli was said to have interest in.
The adjournment was sought because Dato’ Shafee Abdullah had to attend to another appeal in the Court of Appeal. Assisting counsel, James Tsai, had no choice but to proceed after DPP Ahmad Bache said that he was ready with his written and oral submission. After hearing the submissions, the JC took a short adjournment. More suspense.
At 11.30 am, when the Learned JC pronounced his judgment, it brought tears of joy to Dato’ Ramli and his family, mostly his wife’s who are Sabahan’s This is Providence. A reward from heaven for the patience and resilience that Dato’ Ramli had shown throughout this nightmarish episode.
Dato’ Rahman Sebli has also now redeemed the honour and pride of the Malay members of the Bench, by showing that he is independent minded just like Judge Supang Lian and Judge Gunalan who both had earlier acquitted Dato’ Ramli in two separate trials at the Sessions Court in Sabah and in Kuala Lumpur.
Since the day he was dubbed the “RM 27 Milliion Cop”, Dato Ramli had to endure suspicion, public scorn and humiliation. It is now clear that the mainstream newspapers have publicly lynched an innocent man.
I have been following Dato’ Ramli’s trial. Last Friday I was in court when Judge Gunalan acquitted Dato Ramli. I heard Dato’ Ramli say how his life had been destroyed and he now needs to rebuild it again. I heard him express his gratitude to his very supportive wife, the charming Dato’ Anita Harun. I heard him express regret that his mother had died without seeing him vindicated of all the false accusations leveled against him. May his mother’s soul rest in peace because Muslims believe that the prayers and good deeds of a filial son will always be rewarded.
I heard Ramli expressing regret that what happened to him showed that the spirit of camaraderie and espirit-de-corps is dead in the Police Force and of his concern that if this could happen to him, then it could happen to anyone else within the force and to the public. He lamented that once morale is dead in a uniformed organization, it will disintegrate and be dysfunctional . That is the state that the PDRM is in today.
I checked all my previous reports and other sources which showed that Ramli had made 35 asset declarations to his department over 33 years of service. It was only when Musa became IGP in 2006 that Ramli’s troubles started. IGP Musa Hassan withheld a police medal that he coveted most – the Pingat Gagah Pasukan Polis (PGPP), more than the 6 Datukships awarded by the various states.
I reviewed all previous postings and it showed that in 2007, when Ramli’s CCID moved in on the illegal money lending Along syndicate and detained one Goh Cheng Poh @Tengku Goh, Ramli became the subject of an MACC investigation. The mainstream media ran to town with the “ RM27 million Cop” story and quoted sources from within the MACC. That story ran on for months until Ramli was charged. And then it went quiet when the charges were not for corruption but for failing to declare some small change and for taking a joyride. That the whole machinery of PDRM was used to demolish this man surprised not only the public but also Ramli himself. It was as if he had committed an unforgivable sin that cannot be atoned.
For now, I propose to flash back only on the Sabah case since the MACC’s appeal has now been dismissed. I will not touch on the Kuala Lumpur cases because the MACC’s Head of Prosecution, Dato’ Razak Musa had announced that the MACC will appeal against that acquittal. Apparently, that is an order from A-G Gani, while Dato’ Razak Musa himself is reluctant to proceed with the appeal. So much for MACC’s independence.! An appeal would be a big mistake as I am sure Judge Gunalan would, as was done by Judge Supang Lian, write a more damning judgment regarding the MACC’s role in fixing Ramli.
The court records in the Sabah trial showed that the trial took 59 days involving 75 prosecution witnesses. The charge alleged that Ramli had used a police Cessna to conduct an aerial tour of Sabah to view his land. Yet the two pilots were only introduced as the 69th and 73rd witnesses, almost at the end of the case. Why? Because the case would have no leg to stand on if the two pilots had testified at the beginning. They needed to drag the case so that Ramli can never return to the Police Force to haunt them later.
The charge was amended twice during the trial and once before the verdict was delivered. Sounds familiar like Sodomy I? Yes! That is the SoP (standard operating procedure) whenever A-G Gani and IGP Musa Hassan are involved.
The court transcript showed that DSP Chew Kam Soon from Polis Tatatertib came all the way from Bukit Aman KL to this remote village in Sabah with greetings -“IGP Musa Hassan sampaikan salam” to court a villager named Roslan Abdul Hamid. Two weeks later, this dubious Roslan purportedly called the MACC office to make various allegations against Dato’ Ramli for disturbing the villagers’ land. The mainstream media then screamed that Ramli was a “Godfather”, as an attempt to camouflage the real god father of the crime syndicate.
During cross examination, this villager admitted that he never mentioned Ramli’s name and that no incident happened in his village. He also admitted that he could not type the long complaint letter that was presented to the MACC office. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that DSP Chew Kam Soon must have prepared the complaint.Yet MACC Superintendant, Sok One a/l Esen lodged a report that made specific mention of Ramli’s name, This was after he was made to admit under cross examination that he had destroyed a piece of paper that contained the first information report. Ramli has lodged a police report against Sok One for destroying evidence and for fabricating the first information report.
For so long as Musa Hassan is IGP and Gani Patail is A-G, is at any surprise at all that reports against them will be buried? That is what Anwar Ibrahim said against them. Former Police Assistant Director CID, Dato’ Mat Zin also accused these two of fabricating evidence. That is the credibility of the two highest law officers of this country.
Eventually the charge against Ramli had nothing to do with any abuse affecting land in that village. They charged Ramli for taking a joy ride on a Cessna, the stuff of a school truant! And yet over two years, covering 59 days and 75 witnesses, the MACC made Ramli to sit in the “caged- dock” in Kota Kinabalu like an animal or a freak show ( in Kota Kinabalu the dock is caged up with prison bars). That Ramli is to be publicly humiliated is so clear to everyone who followed that trial.
In actual fact, Ramli was on official duty in full uniform at that time and was accompanied by several other police officers. They were conducting an aerial survey over several known “hot-spots” along the coastal line of Sabah which Ramli had successfully prevented infiltration by the Abu Sayaf militants and illegal immigrants when he was Commissioner of Sabah. Yet, all these were blacked out by the national newspapers during his trial. The mainstream, newpapers were conspirators in the public lynching of this man.
The court transcript showed that IGP Musa Hassan himself appeared as the 75th witness in order to rebut the evidence of the other prosecution witnesses. This invited a damning remark in the judgment of Sessions Court Judge Supang Lian when she stated that “ the evidence of PW75 (Prosecution Witness 75) ) was “contrariwise” to the testimony of other senior officers and found that IGP Musa Hassan’s testimony was not reliable”. It is as good as saying Musa Hassan is a liar!
I heard Ramli blaming himself for being a poor judge of character when he mentioned several times that he had treated Musa Hassan like a brother. Musa had directly served under Ramli for 6 years and Ramli had given Musa Hassan two promotions. After Sodomy I which made Musa famous as “the Mattress Carrier”, Musa then had a mercuric rise and overtook Ramli to become IGP, Malaysia’s worst ever. Ramli refused to be drawn into that topic and said that it was Musa’s rezeki. Yet, he never imagined that Musa would use his powers as IGP to treat him so badly. After all, Musa Hassan is the son of a prominent Ustaz, and religious people are expected to have some compassion.
Despite all that had happened, Ramli did not seem overly bitter over what had befallen him. He was philosophical and said that a Muslim must accept qada’ and qadar (fate) and that when God test a man, it is a chance to show God’s hikmah and compassion. I have been personally following Dato Ramli’s trials and tribulations because it is an interesting story of a man’s life, of tragedy and how one deals with the fall from grace. Dato’ Ramli’s is one of those inspiring story.
Ramli obtained his LLB from the IIU (International Islamic University) in 1987 and was the first batch from that university together with Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who suffered a lot more throughout this tragic episode. Rosli’s office was stormed, he was shouted at, roughly handcuffed till he bled and thrown into the MACC dungeon overnight before he was charged one day before Hari Raya Puasa of 2007. That this could happen to a respected senior lawyer is very frightening.
It is more bewildering when one considers that Dato’ Nordin Hassan, who was at that time the Head of Prosecution of the MACC, was also their classmate. That this could happen to Ramli and Rosli while their classmate is the Head of Prosecution in the MACC devastated both of them. It seems that camaraderie is dead not only in the Police Force but also amongst the IIU brotherhood.
The contrast between these people becomes more stark when one considers that Ramli saved Anwar Ibrahim from being beaten to the pulp by former IGP Rahim Noor, while Nordin Hassan prosecuted Anwar in Sodomy I and now Sodomy II. Nordin Hassan also had a mercuric rise and he is today the Deputy Head of Prosecution over the whole of Malaysia, next only to Tun Majid. It appears that jockeying for post and position is also a preoccupation amongst this first batch of IIU graduates even if it means bringing down your own friends and Muslim brothers. To Dato’ Nordin Hassan, I say to him – beware of divine retribution.
Now that Judge Gunalan has found that there is no predicated offence, is there any reason for the MACC to still want to proceed against Lawyer Rosli Dahlan? After all, the MACC have already admitted that Rosli was never the subject of any investigation and was only needed as a witness. It seems that the MACC witnesses either end up dead like Teoh Beng Hock or bloodied and beaten like Rosli.
While we are euphoric that Justice has prevailed, I want to remind Malaysians that the case against Rosli will be continued on 31st May 2010. Rosli was charged before Ramli but is now still having this case hovering over his head.
I call on the Bar Council to make representation to the MACC and the A-G to withdraw this charge against Rosli. Until Rosli is released from this trauma, I will keep reminding that no innocent man should ever be subjected to the abuses that this man had been subjected to.
I want Malaysians to believe and have faith that change can come if we all work together towards it. God is watching us.