Rafizi charged under secrecy law over leak on 1MDB federal audit

PKR's Rafizi Ramli looked his usual cheerful self as he made his way this morning to the Sessions Court, April 8, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
PKR's Rafizi Ramli looked his usual cheerful self as he made his way this morning to the Sessions Court, April 8, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― PKR's Rafizi Ramli was charged today under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) after he allegedly released classified information from the Auditor-General’s report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The PKR secretary-general claimed trial to two charges under Section 8 of the OSA, which among others covers the wrongful possession of official secrets.

Rafizi, who was arrested by police on Tuesday for the alleged offence, smiled and looked his usual cheerful self as he made his way this morning to the Sessions Court, which was filled to the rafters with his colleagues in the opposition, supporters and media personnel.

The Pandan MP was dressed in a suit and did not have handcuffs on.

According to the first charge under Section 8(1)(c)(iii) of the OSA, Rafizi was accused of having unauthorised possession of Page 98 of the 1MDB audit report at about 3pm on March 24 at the Parliament lobby.

For the second charge under Section 8(1)(c)(iv), Rafizi was accused of acting in a way that jeopardised secrets through the disclosure of the same document’s contents during a press conference he held that day.

If convicted under either count, both of which are punishable under Section 8(1), Rafizi will be committed to jail time of at least a year, a term that may extend to a maximum of seven years.

Both prosecution and defence lawyers agreed to bail at RM3,000 with one surety.

During today’s proceeding, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Abazafree Mohd Abbas acted as lead prosecutor, while Subang MP R. Sivarasa was Rafizi’s lead counsel.

Rafizi's case will come up before Sessions Court judge Zulqarnain Hassan for mention on April 29.

The Auditor-General's final report on 1MDB has yet to be declassified or tabled to Parliament, with the Auditor-General confirming to Malay Mail Online yesterday that it remains protected under the OSA. 

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