RAFIZI Ramli is a free man, with prosecutors today withdrawing an appeal against his acquittal on a Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) charge.

The Court of Appeal retained the decision to free the PKR vice-president after deputy public prosecutor Jasmee Hameeza Jaafar informed a three-judge bench about the withdrawal.

Also freed is former bank clerk Johari Mohamad, 48, who was charged under Bafia with conspiring with Rafizi.

The Edge Markets reported that Attorney-General Tommy Thomas signed the withdrawal of the appeal on Monday.

Thomas had expressed shock at his office’s decision to file the challenge, and said he would personally ensure it was dropped.

On November 15, the high court acquitted and discharged Rafizi after overturning his conviction for revealing details of bank accounts related to the National Feedlot Corporation and its chairman, Salleh Ismail.

The 43-year-old former Pandan MP has announced that he is stepping away from active politics to focus on a tech start-up.

AGC will not fight Sosma bail ruling

THE Attorney-General’s Chambers today said it would not fight a recent court decision allowing judges to hand out bail to those accused under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said in a statement today that Section 13 of the Act “effectively (puts those accused) under preventive detention without recourse to court”.

“What the drafters of Sosma and the 2012 Parliament that enacted the law did not take into account was that the judicial function of the court is eroded by virtue of Section 13. Consequently, judicial power is undermined.

“For these reasons, in the exercise of my discretion, I have decided that the public prosecutor will not appeal against the recent decision of the high court in holding Section 13 of Sosma unconstitutional. Our DPPs will deal with each bail application on its merits and the court will act as an arbiter, as contemplated in the federal constitution,” Thomas said.

Recently, Malacca state representative from DAP G. Saminathan, along with 11 others had been detained under the act, which allows for detention without trial or appearance in court for up to 28 days, for allegedly supporting the defunct Sri Lankan militant group the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Elam.

Sosma detainees are also usually not afforded bail but the high court had, in Saminathan’s case, ruled that this was unconstitutional.

On November 29, high court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had ruled that the Sosma provision, which disallowed bail, violated the principle of the separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive.

Because the ruling meant judges can now consider bail applications even for those charged with a terrorism-related offence, Thomas said concerns had been raised in this respect.

“In such a case, Malaysians should be assured that once our DPPs inform the court with some credible evidence that a bail applicant is planning such dastardly and violent acts, bail will be refused.

“No judge will be irresponsible to place public safety in jeopardy. Ultimately, we must trust the judges to decide in each case when a bail application is made.”

In citing “substantial advances since Sosma was enacted”, Thomas said Nazlan had “recognised the principles in the basic structure doctrine and developed in the Indira Gandhi and Semenyih Jaya cases when holding Section 13 of the Sosma Act as unconstitutional because that section closes the door to judicial application for bail”.

“Thus access to justice is denied to all accused under Sosma between charge and their final appeal before the Federal Court.

“In my opinion, any appeal against the decision of the high court is doomed to fail.”