Judiciary couple case: Defence granted access to all prosecution materials

|     Fadley Faisal     |

THE case involving allegations of embezzlement, money laundering and disproportionate assets against suspended judges Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin resumed yesterday in the High Court, with another defence application being given more time.

Justice Gareth John Lugar-Mawson once again adjourned the trial upon application by Simon Farrell, QC, appearing with Sheikh Noordin bin Sheikh Mohammad for the defendants.

The defence sought for full access to all materials in the possession of the prosecution, used or unused by them.

Among their requests was to have access into the Judiciary Case Management System (JCMS) and to the laptops that were seized from Ramzidah on January 8, 2018.

According to Farrell, the defence have gone through 30 bankrutpcy files in the last two weeks. Some of the statements of the prosecution witnesses have not been handed to the defence.

It was submitted that due to the aforementioned reasons, the defence is simply not ready to proceed with the trial as it is unable to properly prepare the defence.

Farrell asked that the trial be put off for a few months, after which the defence should be “fully prepared to proceed”.

He undertook that this application for adjournment will be the final one the defence makes.

Jonathan Caplan, QC, appearing for the public prosecutor, firmly opposed the application for adjournment. He informed the court that the first request for access to the bankruptcy file was made on February 4, to which the prosecution subsequently agreed.

However, it was not until March 1 that the defence began to inspect the files over a four-day period.

Further, the defence’s request to have access into Ramzidah’s Surface Pro laptop was only made known to the prosecution on March 4, with access to it only granted the following day.

In relation to the witness statements, the witnesses will only be producing documents which have been served on the defence. It was made known that the prosecution has in fact served a total of 11 bundles of files comprising documents which will be formally tendered through such witnesses.

Caplan further stated that the prosecution is ready to proceed with the trial and suggested that the case be approached in stages by first calling the deputy official receivers and bank tellers who gave the statements to the defence.

Justice Lugar-Mawson granted the defence’s application for adjournment and ordered for the defence to be granted full access to all materials in the prosecution’s possession, including prosecution witness statements, copies of documents and exhibits.

Justice Lugar-Mawson fixed March 18 for a pre-trial review to be conducted.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Hajah Suhana binti Haji Sudin, Hajah Suriana binti Haji Radin, Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Abdul Latiff and Muhd Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman also appeared for the Public Prosecutor.