Former cop Ramli Yusoff says the ACA wanted to take Rosli out as a warning to anyone who wanted to help him.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) this morning failed in a desperate bid to have the High Court expunge a substantial body of evidence from the witness statement of former Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Ramli Yusoff at the on-going trial commenced by lawyer Rosli Dahlan against it.
Justice Su Geok Yam’s ruling effectively set the stage for Ramli to adduce some blistering evidence during the afternoon session of the hearing.
In his examination-in-chief Ramli told the Court, “It was clear that the ACA (as the MACC was formerly known) wanted to take Rosli out first as a lesson and warning to anyone who dare to help me.”
Referring to investigations by the ACA into Rosli, his arrest and subsequent charging in court, Ramli said, “I felt very bad because Rosli was not even a suspect in the ACA investigations.”
“I was the prime suspect but all these things happened to him first.”
Baseless corruption charge causes Ramli his job
Earlier in his witness statement, Ramli had narrated in detail his own ordeal at the hands of the ACA, former IGP Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail.
A cop for 38 years, Ramli now himself a practising lawyer, told the court how he had suffered the ignominy of having been interdicted when he was charged under the Anti-Corruption Act, 1997, on charges which he claimed were completely baseless.
“Upon interdiction, I was suspended,” he testified, saying that he later reached retirement age in March the following year but was not released from the force.
“My interdiction ended when I was acquitted of all the criminal charges on March 12, 2012, and I was restored to my rank as a Commissioner of Police,” he told the court, saying, however, that he was not able to return to active duty since he was well past his retirement age.
Despite eventually being formally reinstated and receiving all his dues, he told the court, “I effectively lost my job and career on November 2, 2007.”
Ramli labelled disloyal for refusing to fabricate evidence
Asked why he was charged in the first place, Ramli, who claimed that he was next in line for the post of IGP, said, “I believe that Musa and Gani had targeted me for elimination from the hierarchy of the police force,” adding that they had “harboured a deep seated animosity” towards him.
Tracing Musa’s animosity towards him, Ramli claimed that this was on account of three show cause letters issued by Ramli to Musa for ‘departmental breaches’ and three other prominent incidents which Musa was involved in.
The first of those incidents related to Musa’s role in Anwar Ibrahim’s infamous ‘black eye’ incident in 1998, which Ramli claimed he witnessed first hand.
“I was the one who pulled (Rahim Noor) out of Anwar’s cell with the help of former director of CID Yaacob Mohd Amin,” he explained.
“I was then asked by Musa to fabricate evidence” to the effect that Anwar had lodged a false police report against Rahim Noor and to “arrange for a doctor to give a medical report that Anwar had inflicted injuries on himself,” he told the Court.
“I refused,” he claimed, adding that thereafter he was seen by both Gani and Musa as ‘disloyal’.
Ramli displeases AG by reopening MAS case
Ramli also claimed that Gani was displeased with him for reopening investigations into the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) case, despite the fact that instructions for him to do so had come from then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the request of the airline itself.
He testified further that he briefed Abdullah in March 2007 that there were grounds to commence a prosecution against Tajuddin Ramli and offered to do it himself if the AG was reluctant. Ramli claimed that Gani saw this as ‘undermining’ him as attorney general.
Ramli said that thereafter, in July 2007, he was served with the first notice by ACA requiring a disclosure of assets.
“It was around this time that the New Straits Times broke the story about the RM27,000,000 cop,” he added, leading thereafter to him being charged in court and interdicted.
Ramli also cited several other instances which gave rise to Musa and Gani’s animosity including his investigation into alleged links between Musa and ‘the underworld’ and in particular one Goh Cheng Poh who was later detained and banished by an order signed by the Deputy Minister of Internal Security.
According to Ramli, in Goh’s subsequent application for habeas corpus, Goh had claimed that Musa, the ACA and Gani had cleared him of wrongdoing.
Ramli testified that later, on August 20, 2007, he was served with an order by the ACA requiring him to deliver Goh’s file to the ACA. Despite his protestations, which he recorded in a letter to the AG on August 23, 2007, he was forced to eventually hand over the file.
From then on, he said, his division no longer received cooperation from the AG’s chambers, including in respect of the drawing up of affidavits for use in court, leaving him compelled to seek assistance from Rosli and his colleague, C Vijaya Kumar.
Six cops get arrested by ACA for ‘fabricating’ evidence
He said that Goh’s habeas corpus application then took a “dramatic turn of events” when six rank and file policemen were arrested by the ACA for allegedly fabricating evidence against Goh, and were themselves interdicted.
“The 10th Defendant herein (Sok One a/l Esen) also filed an affidavit on behalf of ACA but instead of supporting the detention, he affirmed an affidavit which supported the position of Goh Cheng Poh and confirmed that he had been cleared of wrongdoing,” Ramli’s witness statement read.
“This is unprecedented in the history of the Royal Malaysian Police,” he added. “The whole investigation against Goh Cheng Poh was discredited by the ACA which allowed Goh Cheng Poh to go scott-free.”
The policemen were acquitted of all charges without their defence being called, Ramli testified further.
Ramli explains getting “fixed up”
Explaining how he was ‘fixed up’, Ramli’s evidence read, “They obtained a statement by a criminal by the name of Moo Sai Chin which implicated me.” Moo had been detained in October 2006 under the Emergency Ordinance and was released in January 2007.
Two months later, Moo gave a statement to ACA alleging that I had received bribes from him in 1999, Ramli added.
He said that premised on nothing more than Moo’s bare statement, they issued a notice for Ramli to disclose his assets.
“Once the notice was issued, the ACA leaked false information and the details of the investigation to the press who publicised the issue,” he added, claiming that, despite being false, such stories written about him in the press had been given credibility simply because they named the ACA as their source.
“Even Utusan Malaysia has admitted that this story was sensationalised beyond the parameters of ethical journalism,” he pointed out.
Ramli testified that the issues surrounding him had also affected Rosli, who was himself having trouble with his bankers because his name had been listed in a financial search of police officers and their family.
“All that (Rosli) had done was to help CCID and the then Deputy Minister of Internal Security to prepare affidavits and act as my solicitor in my personal affairs,” he added.
According to Ramli, Rosli was issued with two notices under the Anti-Corruption Act, 1997. He was arrested and charged even before investigations against Ramli himself had been completed.
The hearing continues.