Rafizi sentenced to 18 months’ jail
> Pandan MP found guilty of two charges under OSA
KUALA LUMPUR: Pandan member of Parliament Mohd Rafizi Ramli was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the sessions court here on two charges under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
The PKR vice-president received 18 months’ jail on the first charge of unauthorised possession of page 98 of the 1MDB Audit Report.
He was found guilty of committing the offence at the Parliament building lobby in Jalan Parlimen here at 3pm on March 24, under Section 8(1)(c)(iii) of the OSA 1972, which carries a maximum jail term of seven years on conviction.
Mohd Rafizi, 39, who is also PKR secretary-general, received 18 months’ jail on the second charge of exposing the contents of the report at a media conference at the same place and time on March 28.
The charge, under Section 8(1)(c)(iv) of the same Act, carries a jail term of up to seven years on conviction.
Judge Zulqarnain Hassan ordered the sentences to run concurrently and granted a stay pending Rafizi’s appeal to the High Court, and raised the bail from RM3,000 to RM5,000.
Meanwhile, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the court’s decision would further strenghten the Opposition.
He, however, said the ruling is not final and hoped Rafizi would be cleared of the charges on appeal.
“The sentencing will not weaken our spirits to keep fighting. We are confident that our fight for justice and fairness will prevail,” said Azmin, adding that the sentencing would only further strengthen the unity within the party to continue its struggles.
Asked whether the court’s decision was fair, Azmin said Rafizi and his team of lawyers had presented their case well.
“The court has made a decision today but that decision is not final,” he added.
Meanwhile, Election Commission chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said Rafizi will remain as Pandan MP pending his court appeal process.
Following Rafizi’s decision to appeal the decision, he said it would be premature to comment on the need for a by-election for the Pandan seat. “We would like to inform that under the Federal Constitution, he (Rafizi) remains as Pandan MP. Based on Article 48(4)(b), he is entitled to appeal the court’s decision.
“Therefore, his seat will not be vacant, and his position remains until his appeal is completed.
“Any legal process concerning the Pandan seat will only be determined after the appeal process is finalised,” he said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters later, Rafizi’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo said he (Rafizi) cannot contest in the 14th general election (GE14) should Parliament be dissolved in the near future while his appeal is still pending.
Under Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, a person cannot stand as a candidate if he received a jail term of a year or more, or a fine of RM2,000, or both.
Rafizi (left) at the court yesterday.