Oct 8: Appeals Court to decide whether it can hear second review bid by four ex-Genneva directors

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE Court of Appeal has set Oct 8 to decide on whether it has the jurisdiction to hear the second review application brought by four former directors of a gold investment firm who were convicted and jailed for money-laundering and illegal deposit taking.

Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, who led a three-member panel, said the preliminary objection raised by the prosecution was novel and the court needed time to deliberate on the issues raised.

Following which the panel, who also included Justices Datuk P.Ravinthran and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin, deferred its ruling on the preliminary objection to Oct 8 to decide whether the court can conduct “a review upon review” of a decision made by the  previous Court of Appeal panel  last year.

The former directors of Genneva Sdn Bhd, namely Ng Poh Weng, Datuk Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, Chin Wai Leong, and Liew Chee Wah, is seeking the court to hear their second review application to correct a miscarriage of justice.

This followed a decision in April last year by the previous Court of Appeal three-member bench, which heard the first review application, in dismissed it after ruling that the case did not fall within the exceptional and limited circumstances.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing the four directors, submitted that his clients were entitled to know the reasons for their conviction by the Court of Appeal as the court did not provide a written judgment.

He said this was because the Court of Appeal had allowed the prosecution’s appeal to set aside the decisions of the Sessions Court and High Court in acquitting the four men of the charges.

Muhammad Shafee said the application for a second review of last year’s Court of Appeal decision is rare, but should be allowed in the interest of justice.

“I am raising a point which was never argued in the review before the the previous Court of Appeal panel,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar said the second review application should be dismissed as it would open the floodgates for others to review the decision of the appellate court.

He said the grievances of the four applicants were addressed in their first review application last year, but the court dismissed it, adding that if the court were to entertain the second review, there would be no finality in the court’s decision.

Umar Saifuddin said there is no law conferring any jurisdiction to the court to hear an application to “review upon review”.

On Feb 21, 2018, a three-man panel led by Justice Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki found the four guilty on 154 charges of money-laundering and illegal deposit-taking.

That court sentenced them to three years in jail for money-laundering and five years jail and RM1 million fine each for illegal deposit-taking. The sentences to run consecutively, which means the four would spend eight years in jail.

They were accused of committing the money-laundering offences at Menara Public Bank, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur between July 2008 and June 2009.

They were also accused of committing the illegal deposit-taking offences at the company’s premises in Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Kuala Lumpur, between November 2008 and July 2009.

They lost their review bid which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on April 13, last year.