Published: Thursday March 14, 2013 MYT 5:03:00 PM
Updated: Thursday March 14, 2013 MYT 9:15:04 PM
Former PUNB officers lose appeal in RM5bil fraud case
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: Two former senior officers of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) were jailed after losing their appeal before the Court of Appeal (COA) here on Thursday.
In the previous High Court decision, former chief executive officer Ahmad Zukni Johari, 71, and former company secretary Mohamad Aminuddin Zain, 57, were jailed five and four years respectively for falsifying share and bond certificates amounting to US$5bil (RM19bil).
The COA panel consisting Justice Abu Samah Nordin, Azahar Mohamed and Mohd Zawawi Salleh unanimously upheld the decision, saying they saw no need to intervene.
Justice Azahar, said the duo's actions showed their actions indicated they wanted to unlawfully profit themselves.
He added that while the actions did not result in unlawful profit to them nor any losses to the company, their actions were still deceptive.
Justice Azahar listed 11 factors that contributed to the decision, including the duo's decision not to obtain the board's approval, their order to destroy evidence pertaining to the issuance of the bonds, and concealing so called 'business trips' from the board.
Counsel for Ahmad Zukni, Sulaiman Abdullah pleaded for leniency, saying any jail sentence would effectively be a life sentence considering his client's age.
"With this trial hanging over his head for the last 12 years, he has lost his job and his wife too has left him, taking much of their property with her.
“He has been twice punished, losing family and finance, with nothing to console him in these later years," Sulaiman told the court Thursday.
DPP Abdul Razak Musa said considering the seriousness of the offence, which carries a 20-year prison penalty and the fact it involved RM19bil in bonds, the prison sentence by the High Court was adequate.
The Court of Appeal maintained the sentenced handed down by the High Court and denied the defence counsel's request for a stay of execution.
Aminuddin was seen hugging his weeping wife as he was lead out of the docks, while Zukni thanked his counsel despite how the case worked out.
Zukni and Aminuddin claimed trial on Oct 10, 2002, to jointly falsifying the documents at Wisma UOA II, No 21, Jalan Pinang on Oct 13, 2000.
The Sessions Court acquitted them on Jan 27, 2010, but the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission successfully appealed against the decision.