Former Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) managing director Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) of the company's funds amounting to RM21.08 million for the construction of littoral combat ships (LCS) for the navy.
Ramli, 78, a former navy chief, pleaded not guilty to the charges which were read out before judge Suzana Hussin.
"I understand (the charges). I plead not guilty and claim trial," he said.
On the first charge, Ramli, as the BNS managing director entrusted with the company’s funds, was alleged to have committed CBT by approving a payment amounting to RM13,541,140 to the account of Syarikat Setaria Holding Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, 6 Battery RD, Singapore 049909, without the approval of the BNS board of directors.
The offence was allegedly committed at BNS, 17th floor, Menara Boustead, 69 Jalan Raja Chulan, between July 26, 2010 and March 25, 2011.
On the second charge, Ramli was alleged to have approved payment amounting to RM1,360,716 to the account of JSD Corporation, the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, 65 Chulia Street, OCBC Centre, Singapore, without the approval of the BNS board of directors at the same place between April 19, 2011 and May 4, 2011.
He was also charged with committing a similar offence by approving a payment amounting to RM6,182,295 to the account of Syarikat Sousmarin Armada Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, 6 Battery Road, Singapore, at the same place between Oct 28, 2010 and Nov 22, 2010.
The three charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years with a whipping, with the possibility of a fine, upon conviction.
The court allowed him bail of RM500,000 with a paid surety of RM200,000 for all three charges and set Nov 24 for mention.
Deputy public prosecutors Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Ahmad Akram Gharib prosecuted, while lawyer Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden represented Ramli.
Earlier, Akram proposed bail of RM500,000 with one surety and a paid surety of RM200,000 for all three charges.
"The bail amount has been agreed to by the defence. The prosecution also requests an additional condition that the accused's passport be handed over to the court," he said.
Meanwhile, Wan Shaharuddin informed the court that the prosecution and defence had agreed on Nov 24 as the mention date, taking into account the fact that there were many documents that needed to be scrutinised by both parties.
"I was also informed there is a possibility that the defence will send a letter of representation on this case to the Attorney-General's Chambers,” he said. This was confirmed by Yusof.
On Aug 4, the Public Accounts Committee revealed that none of the ships under the LCS project had been completed even though the project, worth billions, stipulated that five of the six ships should be completed and handed over by August 2022.
On Aug 11, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission announced that it had completed its investigation against a number of individuals linked to alleged irregularities in the handling of the LCS construction project.
According to sources, more individuals are expected to be charged in court in connection with the LCS project.