Three former officers of investment company freed on charges of giving false statements

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Three former officers of an investment company, including one with a “Datuk” title, breathed a sigh of relief after the High Court here today acquitted and discharged them on eight charges of making false statements to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd 14 years ago.

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This followed a decision by Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin in allowing the appeal by former executive director of Kosmo Technology Industrial Bhd, Mohd Azham Mohd Noor, 55; its former account manager, Lim Hai Loon (she), 50; and former managing director, Datuk Norhamzah Nordin, 55, against their conviction and sentence that were handed down by the Sessions Court on May 3, last year.

The Sessions Court had sentenced Mohd Azham and Norhamzah to two years’ jail and fine of RM1.45 million each, while Lim was fined RM560,000 and a year’s jail, after finding them guilty.

Judge Muhammad Jamil, in his decision, said the Sessions Court judge did not consider the sworn testimony of the fourth defence witness, who was the company’s account officer, and this had prejudiced all the appellants.

“According to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), the court must consider the evidence given by witnesses including the defence witnesses. Failure of the Sessions Court Judge to take into account the testimony of the fourth defence witness is a serious injustice.

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“The failure is a misdirection that requires intervention of this court. Therefore, the appeal of all the appellants is allowed and the conviction is revoked. The fine, if it has been paid, must be refunded to all the appellants and the bail should also be returned,” he added.

At today’s proceeding, all the appellants were represented by lawyers Datuk C. Vignesh Kumar, Daniel Annamalai, PG Cyril and Magita Hari Mogan, while deputy public prosecutors from the Malaysian Securities Commission, Shoba Venu Gobal and Hashley Tajudin appeared for the respondent.

In 2011, Mohd Azham and Norhamzah were charged with eight counts of making false statements in the company’s income statement for the year 2006 and 2007 to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd at the Exchange Square, Bukit Kewangan here between 2006 and 2008.

They were charged under Section 122B (a)(bb) of the Industrial Securities Act 1983, read together with Section 122(1) of the same law.

The offence is punishable under Section 122B of the same law which provides a maximum fine of RM3 million or imprisonment for up to 10 years, upon conviction.

As for Lim, she was charged with eight counts of abetting the two men. – BERNAMA

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