‘I was in charge of account’

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: With one day left before the Permatang Pasir by-election, the debate surrounding Barisan Nasional candidate Rohaizat Othman's disbarment took another twist yesterday.

His former law firm partner, Yusri Isahak, said he was the one in charge of the Penang Rubber Tappers Cooperative account.

"Yes, I was the one who prepared the agreement and called in the seller and the buyer to sign it.

"My signature is on the agreement as a witness to it (the purchase agreement)," he said here.

Yusri Isahak says university mate Rohaizat Othman is a good person.
Yusri Isahak says university mate Rohaizat Othman is a good person.

After prodding by reporters, Yusri said the cooperative file was under his name.

"The file can be taken over by other partners when I am on a holiday … and the cooperative is the firm's client," he said, adding that the firm's partners could check the status of all files.

He had mentioned on Thursday of the involvement of his once-close friend and university mate in the deal.

He said both of them had made decisions together about the use of funds belonging to their client, the Pe-nang Rubber Tappers Cooperative.

This involved using part of the funds as loans to other clients and friends.

Yusri left the firm in 2003 because he no longer felt suited to the legal profession. He is now a contractor.

He said his legal practice licence had expired in 2004 and he did not renew it because he had left the profession.

This was why, he said, he was never called for disciplinary action by the Bar Council as he had given up his licence.

He earlier said that he had called for the second news conference because he was disturbed that certain quarters had used his earlier statements to attack Rohaizat.

"My purpose to meet the media (earlier) was to clear my name and my family's. For my side, this case is settled."

However, he said he could not remain silent when he saw that his earlier statements were used against the BN candidate in the Permatang Pasir by-election.

"Rohaizat is someone whom I know and he is a good person.

"He tried to make amends for his mistakes and the Penang Rubber Tappers Cooperative has withdrawn its application against him.

"I don't intend to hurt or support anyone.

"When I came forward earlier, I was angry and disappointed that I had become a scapegoat in the case related to the cooperative."

On the possibility that he would be accused of being coerced by certain quarters to call for the second press conference, Yusri said he met the media for the second time on his own initiative.

He said he had not met Rohaizat and the latter also had not called him.

However, he said he hoped Rohaizat would get in touch with him.

He said he had not met any BN nor Pakatan Rakyat representatives before yesterday's meeting with the media.