May 18, 2015
Rosli’s arrest as “distressing to witness” and “very disturbing”, says Witness
by Ho Kit Yen@www.freemalaysiatoday.com
The much anticipated battle between senior lawyers Cecil Abraham, acting for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and Lambert Rasa-Ratnam, fizzled out meekly earlier today, with Abraham seeming to restrict himself from asking too many questions of Lambert and the two other partners who took the witness stand today. Abraham also later absented himself from proceedings in the afternoon.
Lambert was testifying in a case which Rosli had commenced against the MACC, several of its officers and the Government of Malaysia. The suit involved claims by Rosli for assault and false imprisonment against MACC (formerly known as the Anti-Corruption Agency, or ACA) and the Government of Malaysia.
In his Witness Statement which was tendered in Court as part of his testimony, Lambert described Rosli’s arrest as “distressing to witness” and “very disturbing”.
“This raw display of power and force was to me totally unnecessary and unbecoming of any professional law enforcement agency,” he said. “The only purpose it served was to embarrass and humiliate Rosli before his colleagues and staff.”
Earlier, Lambert narrated how, on the eve of Hari Raya in 2007, Rosli had sought out another of the firm’s partners, Kumar Kanagasingam, with whom Lambert was having lunch. “He looked troubled,” Lambert said
He told us he had received a visit from some ACA officers and that they had requested him to go to the ACA with them without saying why, Lambert testified.
“Around 2:30 pm, Rosli telephoned me (and) asked me to come to his room, Lambert told the court, “He mentioned some people were there.” Lambert’s evidence was that he saw three men there and that they told him that their instructions were to take Rosli to their office.
One of them, Mohan, dangled handcuffs in front of Rosli and claimed that he was under instructions to handcuff him, Lambert added.
“Mohan (then) made a call on his mobile. Shortly thereafter two men stormed into the room,” Lambert testified saying that, one of them, whose name was Sok One, “was particularly animated and aggressive.”
“Sok One shouted out to bring Rosli down and handcuff him,” Lambert recalled. “He also told Rosli he would punch him.” Rosli was in pain, and his wrists had begun to swell and bleed, he added.
Then Managing Partner of the firm Ng Leong Huat testified as to his ‘shock’ at seeing Rosli handcuffed, claiming that after much protest, one of the officers, Azam Baki, eventually relented and uncuffed him.
“I find it unacceptable that the ACA officers had breached our office security by forcing their way through our restricted area at Level 17,” he insisted. “That is not a public area. The ACA officers had no business to be there.”
He said news of Rosli’s arrest, which appeared in the mainstream news media, “led to a very negative impression of the firm,” “impacted on the firm’s revenue” and gave rise to “difficulty in bidding for work generally and especially with government agencies.”
Rosli’s own performance and revenue also deteriorated, he added. Kumar Kanagasingam, another partner of the firm, testified that he met a very worried Rosli at lunch time on the day of his arrest. He said on hearing of the ‘commotion’ in Rosli’s office, he rushed down but only managed to see Rosli getting into a car accompanied by ACA officers.
He also testified as to the difficulties, loss and hardships suffered by Rosli and the firm as a result of the former’s arrest and the subsequent criminal trial.
When trial resumed after lunch, two secretaries of the firm, Ayuniza Iswan and Lai Pey Niew En, also gave their own accounts of the arrest. They were cross-examined by Rishwant Singh, with Cecil Abraham absent from proceedings in the afternoon.