Prosecution raises preliminary objection against Genneva directors' application to review conviction

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4): The prosecution has raised a preliminary objection against the application by Genneva Sdn Bhd directors' application for a review on the verdict made by the Court of Appeal back in 2018.

The application by the appellants, namely Genneva Sdn Bhd, Liew Chee Wah, Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, Ng Poh Weng and Chin Wai Leong, was heard this morning by a three-member panel comprising Court of Appeal judges Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Ravinthran Paramaguru and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin.

The appellants moved for the panel to review the decision made by the previous appeal panel on grounds including that the conviction made was tainted with illegality, which rendered the sentencing illegal and that the previous panel should have remitted the case to be heard before another panel, following the cognisance of 70 defective charges.

Recall that the initial 224 charges made under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 were amended to a total of 154 charges by the previous panel of judges.

However, the prosecution, comprising deputy public prosecutors Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar, Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar and Suriantiazila Muhamad, raised a preliminary objection on whether the Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to review a decision which was made by the same court.

"We object to this motion. There is no jurisdiction for the court to review the decision," he said, adding that there should be finality in the decision made and that if the application is allowed, then this matter would never end as another review can always be filed by either side.

The prosecution also highlighted that the power for a review upon a review is not found in any law, that the application does not fall within the limited grounds and very exceptional circumstance and that the review by the previous panel had already considered the merit of the application.

On the other hand, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing the appellants, argued that the amended 154 charges were never read to his clients and said that the court made an error in this respect.

He also said that the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to amend the charges.

"This is not a review of the previous review by the Court of Appeal. That doesn't make any sense. We are asking for a review of what transpired during the appeal session," he said.

He also demanded for the reasoning behind the amendment to the 154 charges.

"This has never happened before. This is the first time we have ever heard of another review after a previous review," said Judge Kamaludin.

The court has set Oct 8 for the announcement of its decision on the preliminary objection by the prosecution, before the matter is pursued further.

Liew, Yee, Ng and Chin were found guilty and sentenced to eight years' jail and a RM1 million fine each by a Court of Appeal panel comprising Datuk Mohtarudin Baki, Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil in February 2018. The four have been serving their sentences since then.

Surin Murugiah