April 9, 2015
Rosli Dahlan: I was just collateral damage in elimination of Dato Ramli Yusuff
by FMT Reporters@www.freemalaysiatoday.com (April 8, 2015)
Lawyer Rosli Dahlan testifies in case against MACC for conspiracy to injure his reputation as well as his wrongful arrest.
KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Rosli Dahlan yesterday told the High Court that his relationship with former Director of Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) Ramli Bin Yusuff was the reason for what he alleged was a conspiracy to injure his reputation.
“Dato’ Ramli was my former classmate from my days in the International Islamic University. We are friends,” Rosli said in his witness statement which was tendered in court yesterday.
He was testifying in a case which he had commenced against 17 defendants including Utusan Malaysia, its editors and journalists, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and several of its officers including its current chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed, and the Government of Malaysia.
The suit involved claims by Rosli for defamation by Utusan as well as assault and false imprisonment against MACC and the Government of Malaysia.
On Monday, FMT reported that Utusan had tendered a grovelling public apology to Rosli for a defamatory article which it had written about him in 2007.
“I believe that the defendants, in particular, the 5th and 6th defendants targeted me because I was advising Dato’ Ramli who was targeted to be eliminated by the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan,” Rosli alleged.
Claiming that Ramli was Musa’s superior at the time of Anwar Ibrahim’s infamous “black eye” incident, he said that Ramli was thereafter perceived as a supporter of Anwar because he had prevented Anwar’s assault and provided him with medical treatment.
“After that incident, Dato’ Ramli was mistrusted and his career stalled. Tan Sri Musa had a mercurial rise and became the Inspector-General of Police,” he added.
He told the Court that Musa had formed an alliance with current Attorney General Gani Patail and Nordin Hassan, the then head of prosecution at the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
“All three were key players in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s prosecution in the first sodomy trial,” he added.
He narrated various incidents which he thought were at the heart of Musa’s enmity with Ramli, including a dispute as to whether the previous management of Malaysian Airlines ought to be prosecuted for financial mismanagement – which Gani was reluctant to do – and the alleged discovery by CCID of links between Musa and a known criminal.
In one instance involving a habeas corpus application the Attorney General had purportedly refused to prepare affidavits on behalf of Ramli’s men, leading to Rosli and his co-counsel C Vijaya Kumar having to take on the task.
“Even the Deputy Minister of Internal Security sought my assistance to prepare his affidavit,” he said.
He said that this eventually led to stories starting to circulate identifying Ramli as a corrupt senior police officer.
Rosli related how Ramli had sought legal advice from him in 2007 in respect of several matters, including an investigation into how Ramli had purportedly acquired assets.
According to his testimony, he was eventually served with two notices under the Anti-Corruption Act, 1997 identifying him as an “associate” of Ramli and requiring him to disclose assets. He said, however, that he was unable to comply with the notices because he was unsure whether they required him to disclose his own assets or assets he held for Ramli.
“Given the vagueness of the Notices and that I was not entirely clear how I was being described as an ‘associate’ and being mindful of my obligations as a solicitor, I prepared a statutory declaration that dealt with my disclosures vis–à–vis Dato’ Ramli. However, I specifically pointed out that I took the view that the Notices that had been served on me were defective and issued in bad faith. I also offered in my statutory declaration to provide any further assistance that was necessary,” his witness statement read.
Rosli testified that on the eve of Hari Raya in 2007, an ACA Officer visited him and asked him to present himself at the ACA office to give a statement.
“I told him that since it was just a matter of recording a statement, I would be able to come the following Thursday as I was about to go on leave for Hari Raya. He agreed with my suggestion and left,” Rosli said.
“After lunch I went back to my office. Shortly thereafter, while I was doing work, I was shocked to see several men barging into my room.”
“They said they were from the ACA and wanted to arrest me.[One] then took out a pair of handcuffs and said he needed to handcuff me. He started playing with his handcuffs to intimidate me.The ACA officers twisted my left arm and my right wrist and handcuffed me so tightly that my right wrist began to bleed as it was tightened to the bone.”
He said that he was then brought me to the ACA’s headquarters in Putrajaya.“I was taken to an underground office where the cells were located. It was only when I got there, that I was served with a notice telling me that I was arrested. I was then stripped of my belt, my shoes and my other personal belongings and placed in one of the cells,” he elaborated.
He was charged the following day.
Claiming that he was marched from the open car park of the courthouse and through its corridors while handcuffed, he added, “It was evident that the ACA officers wanted the horde of pressmen and photographers to publish pictures of me in handcuffs.”
He said immediately upon his acquittal of the charge, the Attorney-General announced that he would prefer an appeal. He told the Court that, shortly thereafter, the MACC tried to secure the discontinuance of this action by using the appeal from his acquittal as a bargaining chip.
“I realised that what he wanted was merely for me to withdraw this action and he was using the appeal to secure that objective,” he testified. “I felt nauseous at such Machiavellian conduct,” he added.
He said the entire episode left a deep scar on his reputation, claiming that some of the clients whom he serviced “raised concerns” and had to be placated by his partner. “I had to work very hard to ensure that I did not lose all the clients that I had built up over the years.”
The hearing continued today before Justice Su Geok Yiam.