Malaysian opposition politician Rafizi jailed 18 months for possession, leaking of 1MDB report

Rafizi Ramli, the MP for Pandan in Selangor, was charged with possessing Page 98 of the 1MDB audit report without approval.
Rafizi Ramli, the MP for Pandan in Selangor, was charged with possessing Page 98 of the 1MDB audit report without approval.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Opposition MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Monday (Nov 14) by the Sessions Court for unauthorised possession of the 1MDB audit report and exposing it to the media.

Rafizi, the MP for Pandan in Selangor, was charged with possessing Page 98 of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd audit report without approval, which he acquired in violation of the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).

Sessions Judge Zulqarnain Hassan granted a stay on the sentence pending appeal but increased bail to RM5,000 (S$1,637) from RM3,000.

He was said to have committed the offence at the Parliament lobby in Jalan Parlimen here at 3pm on March 24 this year.

Rafizi, 39, was also accused of exposing without approval, the contents of the same page of the audit report during a press conference on March 28, thus endangering the secret.

He had on April 8 claimed trial to violating the OSA. He was later released on a RM3,000 bail pending disposal of the case.

Article 48(1)(e) of the federal Constitution states that an MP is disqualified if sentenced to jail for a year or more or fined RM2,000 (S$640) and above and has not received a free pardon.

His lawyer said he will not be able to contest in the next general election unless the conviction against him is reversed.

"If there is a conviction and he is sentenced to RM2,000 or more than one year imprisonment, he is disqualified as a candidate, so he cannot become a candidate," Gobind Singh Deo told The Star Online on Monday.

However Gobind said that Rafizi could still remain an MP until the "conviction against him is fully disposed off on appeal".