(Updated)

Lawyer acquitted of insider trading; AGC drops appeal of acquittal

Lawyer acquitted of insider trading; AGC drops appeal of acquittal
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): Three sessions courts on Wednesday acquitted lawyer Datuk Sreesanthan Eliathamby of four counts of purported insider trading in three separate companies listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2006.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) also dropped their appeal in the High Court before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Aslam Zainuddin against Sreesanthan’s acquittal by the Sessions Court in January 2021 on a further three charges of insider trading of Sime Darby Bhd shares.

Sreesanthan’s lawyer Joshua Andran told theedgemarkets.com that his client was acquitted of the four charges in three separate sessions courts on Wednesday morning.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hashley Tajudin and prosecuting officers Munira Masood and Daniel Ariff Tung appeared for the SC.

Datuk Jerald Gomez and Michelle Wong represented Sreesanthan at the High Court for the acquittal appeal, while Datuk Tan Hock Chuan acted for him at the Sessions Court. Joshua represented him at the high and sessions courts.

Sreesanthan is the former senior partner of a law firm involved in advising the merger exercise between Sime Darby, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd.

Sreesanthan was charged in 2012 with three counts for allegedly buying Sime Darby shares whilst in possession of inside information of the proposed acquisition of several companies (including Sime Darby) by a special purpose vehicle called Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd.

For these three charges which he was acquitted of in January, Sessions Court judge Zamri Bakar ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused.

The judge agreed with the defence that the purported information was in public domain from several reputable journals and commentaries published on Sime Darby's proposed merger with Kumpulan Guthrie and Golden Hope.

After the case, Joshua Andran said this brought an end to the prosecution against Sreesanthan which has been ongoing for nine years.

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Lawyer acquitted of insider trading of Sime Darby shares without defence called

Surin Murugiah