Malaysian court upholds opposition MP's conviction under Official Secrets Act

The Malaysian High Court on Wednesday (Aug 23) upheld the 18-month jail sentence meted out to Malaysian opposition MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli (right, in a file photo) for exposing a page of the audit report on embattled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd
The Malaysian High Court on Wednesday (Aug 23) upheld the 18-month jail sentence meted out to Malaysian opposition MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli (right, in a file photo) for exposing a page of the audit report on embattled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).PHOTO: THE STAR PUBLICATION

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - The High Court on Wednesday (Aug 23) upheld the 18-month jail sentence meted out to Malaysian opposition MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli for exposing a page of the audit report on embattled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Justice Azman Abdullah, however, acquitted and discharged the vice-president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) of possessing the report without approval.

Justice Azman said that the jail sentence was not excessive, taking into account the minimum sentence for the offence was imprisonment of less than a year and the maximum sentence was seven years in prison.

He, however, allowed a stay of the sentence pending Rafizi's appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Rafizi, 40, was charged under the Official Secrets Act 1972.

He was charged with exposing page 98 of the 1MDB audit report, which is classified as an official secret, at the Parliament lobby on March 28, last year.

He was also accused of possessing the report without approval on March 24 at the same place.

He will not be able to contest in the country's next general election, which must be held by August 2018, if his conviction is not overturned by then.