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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Auditor-general to testify against Rafizi in OSA trial

Auditor-General Ambrin Buang is expected to testify as a prosecution witness in the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) trial against Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli.
Deputy public prosecutor Shukor Abu Bakar said the auditor-general is among the three witnesses to be called between July 25 and 27, when the trial resumes.
“He was supposed to testify yesterday,” he said, but the trial date had been vacated.
He explained to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex today that it is not possible to call Ambrin to testify today either, since the trial today is only scheduled until 2pm and there won’t be enough time.
Rafizi is accused of unlawfully possessing Page 98 of the National Audit Department’s (NAD) 1MDB audit report, and disclosing it without authorisation. He was charged on April 8 under Sections 8(1)(c)(iii) and 8(1)(c)(iv) of the OSA for these allegations.
The Pandan MP purportedly did so during a March 28 press conference at the Parliament lobby.
The leaked document purportedly proves a link between 1MDB and a Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) subsidiary, but its contents remain classified and cannot be reported, even if it is mentioned during court proceedings.
The case is presided by Sessions Judge Zulqarnain Hassan.
The prosecution’s first witness NAD deputy director Nor Salwani Muhammad had previously testified that Ambrin was the one who led the audit, and classified the audit report as secret on Jan 22.
Meanwhile at today’s hearing, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) deputy director Mohd Zamiri Sanim, 35, testified that he believes that the blog where the document was published indeed belongs to Rafizi (photo).
He said this is based on the analysis he conducted after he was asked by a police investigating officer to check the website rafiziramli.com, on April 11.
Among others, he testified that there was a link on the blog carried Rafizi’s name and other details, as well as a link that led to Rafizi’s Facebook page.
He also managed to obtain Rafizi’s email address and phone number via separate searches on Google, and running a search on these details on Facebook landed him on the same Facebook page.
Checking the phone number with a telecommunications company yielded Rafizi’s personal details including his address and IC number. He also conducted a check of the IC number with the National Registration Department, and verified that it indeed belongs to the Pandan MP.
“In summary, I am of the opinion that the owner of the website rafiziramli.com is Mohd Rafizi Ramli,” he told the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, followed by Rafizi’s IC number and home address.
Zamiri said he prepared a report of his findings, and submitted it to the police with his department’s approval on the same day, on April 11.
He said this during his examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Zhafran Rahim Hamzah.
Rafizi’s blog can be viewed by public
During cross-examination by Rafizi’s counsel Ahmad Nizam Hamid, Zamiri agreed that he is unable to determine who has access to the website, but added during his reexamination that Rafizi’s blog can be viewed by any member of the public.
He also agreed to Nizam’s suggestion that it is possible for a person to set up a website using another persons’ personal details.
Also testifying today is Free Malaysia Today reporter Nawar Firdaws Idrus, 28, who is the prosecution’s fourth witness.
She testified that she was present during Rafizi’s press conferences at the Parliament lobby, including the March 28 press conference, and filed reports about them.
However, she said she only held a copy of the classified document that was distributed at the press conference for only the duration of the press conference, which was less than an hour.

Once the press conference ended, she left the document at the venue.
“This is because we were informed (by senior reporters) that we are not allowed to keep OSA documents, even photocopied ones,” she said.
The court also viewed two sets of videos of Rafizi’s press conferences that were recorded by KiniTV videographerMohd Azfar Effendi, which were first aired in court on June 17.
The videos were recorded on March 24 where Rafizi warned LTAT to come clean on the reasons why it is late in paying gratuities to veterans, or he would reveal "official documents", and on March 28 when he revealed the classified documents.
Nawar confirmed that the videos were of the said press conferences. - Mkini

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