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Monday, February 29, 2016

‘Conflict of interest’ if I am charged, says Rafizi on Tabung Haji police report

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli says charging him under a civil suit would take into account his position as a lawmaker to give fair comment based on qualified privileges. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 29, 2016.Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli says charging him under a civil suit would take into account his position as a lawmaker to give fair comment based on qualified privileges. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 29, 2016.
PKR's Rafizi Ramli said today that Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) should have initiated a civil suit action against him instead of lodging a police report if the allegations raised against the company was defamatory in nature.
The Pandan MP said he would challenge attempt to charge him in court, saying that it could be interpreted as "conflict of interest" because the attorney-general, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, currently sits on the board of the pilgrims fund.
"If Tabung Haji is hoping this 'coincidence' will ease prosecuting me in court, it will definitely be challenged by my lawyer as it can be construed as 'conflict of interest'," Rafizi said in a statement today.
He said charging him under a criminal act was also easier as a civil suit would take into account his position as a lawmaker to give fair comment based on qualified privileges.
"Furthermore, TH will need to prove in a civil suit that my comments are with malicious intent.
"All the proof, right to fair comment and qualified privileges do not exist under the criminal act. The prosecutor will only need to prove that I stated certain words.
"This is why I have noticed a tendency among Umno leaders and government agency to lodge police reports to investigate me under criminal law when it should be brought about as a civil suit."

TH reportedly lodged a police report yesterday, following the PKR secretary-general's accusation that the pilgrims fund had given corporate guarantee to its associate company TH Heavy Engineering Berhad (THHE).
Rafizi however said, he would give full cooperation to the police investigation.
He also urged Tabung Haji to initiate civil suit if any of his allegations on the pilgrims funds were found to be untrue or defamatory in nature.
"I am prepared to defend myself and present the facts in civil court."
Rafizi had previously said Tabung Haji risks losing RM1.4 billion due to continued investment in THHE.
He had also commented on the pilgrims fund's negative reserves, RM90 million failed investment in a bread company and investment into Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd shares which depreciated RM933 million.
- TMI

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