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A whistleblower who was found guilty of disclosing documents comprising the bank account balance summaries of the meat and livestock company in Malaysia won his appeal against his conviction.
The High Court acquitted the political leader, Rafizi Ramli by overturning his conviction last year for charges under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia).
Rafizi, a former MP in the Parliament is the vice-president of Anwar Ibrahim’s party, the PKR.
A 30-month jail sentence meted against him after he was found guilty for exposing confidential banking details under Bafia seven years ago.
Bank clerk, Johari Mohamad. was also discharged and acquitted from the same charge.
Leaking the documents caused serious damage to the Umno-led government headed by ex-PM Najib Razak.
The leaking of the documents became known as the National Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd or NFC case and became the horse battle of the then Pakatan Rakyat coalition for years.
The NFC case was a precursor to the unravelling of the 1MDB scandal which contributed to bringing down Najib’s regime in last year’s general elections.
Under Najib, whistleblowers were allegedly barred from revealing documents related to corruption and other illicit practices by people in authority.
Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa, in his ruling, said the prosecution should have called a witness to testify that a sufficient search for the original documentation presented was carried out.
He said documents presented by the prosecution were not admissible.
In June, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) filed a statement of claim (SoC) against the NFC over a sum of RM253.6 million owed to the government.
The SoC was filed with the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 31. NFC chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, plus his three children and six other companies owned by the family are named in the filing.
Salleh is the husband of former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who was also the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development from 2009 to 2012.
The government’s claim against NFC and the Salleh family amounts to RM253.62 million and represents the amount owed to the government, together with interest of 2% per annum and default interest on RM224.77 million.
The NFC, set up in 2007 with its subsidiary National Feedlot Centre to expand the local beef industry.
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