SHAH ALAM: Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Mohd Rafizi Ramli was arrested yesterday and charged with disclosing four confidential banking documents relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp).
Rafizi, 35, who arrived at the Sessions Court at 9.20am with his wife, pleaded not guilty to disclosing the documents to media consultant Yusuf Abdul Alim and to TheStar reporter Erle Martin Carvalho in PKR’s headquarters at Merchant Square, Petaling Jaya, on March 7. Heallegedly revealed four Public Bank customer profile documents relating to the balance summaries of NFCorp, National Meat and Livestock Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd and Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail.
Salleh is the chairman of NFCorp and the husband of former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
The charge, under Section 97 of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia), carries a maximum jail sentence of three years, or fine up to RM3 million, or both.
The bank's former credit department clerk, Johari Mohamad, 41, was also charged at the same court with abetting Rafizi at the same place and time. He claimed trial.
Deputy public prosecutor Nahra Dollah proposed bail at RM100,000 in one surety for each accused and applied for their passports to be surrendered to the court.
"This is a non-bailable offence. A high bail amount is needed to ensure their attendance in court," she said in a packed courtroom.
Counsel N. Surendran, who acted for both accused, told judge Aslam Zainuddin that the bail amount was excessive.
"Rafizi has no income and is a married man. There was no monetary gain in the alleged offence. Furthermore, being a public figure, it is unlikely that Rafizi will abscond."
Aslam fixed bail at RM15,000 each in one surety and set Sept 10 for mention. He allowed the prosecution's application for a joint trial.
Both accused posted bail.
Rafizi was arrested at his house in Bukit Antarabangsa yesterday morning. He said a team of policemen and Bank Negara officers arrived at his house at 7am and took him to the Hulu Klang police station before he was taken to court.
Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the state government had set aside money from a special fund to meet Rafizi's legal costs.
He said RM500,000 had been set aside, which was 10 per cent of the RM5 million fund established for informers of corrupt practices.
"The fund was set aside under the SelangorKu Grant totalling RM300 million," he said after chairing the weekly meeting of the state executive council .