Rosli Dahlan goes to war with SPRM and PDRM

(The Edge) – Lawyer Rosli Dahlan on Friday (Dec 29) filed a judicial review against the police and government for their purported action in linking him with a complaint lodged by AirAsia on i-Serve that resulted in him being arrested, investigated for money-laundering, his bank accounts frozen and a travel ban imposed.

Rosli filed the action through Messrs Vin Law Co, where he named Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain @ Abd Rasid, commercial crime Chief Commissioner Datuk Ramli Mohammed Yoosuf, police money laundering unit head Deputy Commissioner Datuk Muhammad Hasbullah Ali, deputy money laundering head, ACP Foo Wei Min as respondents.

In addition, investigating officer Supt Mohd Faizal Mohd Atan, director-general of Immigration Department Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the police, the immigration department, and the Malaysian government, were also named as respondents.

In the application sighted by The Edge through a file search, Rosli sought an order for certiorari (judicial review) to quash the purported actions of the police to allegedly abuse their power under the Anti Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activity Act 2001 (AMLA) on being linked with a police report by AirAsia vs I-Serve which have no relation with him.

Rosli is also seeking a certiorari order to quash the police action to arrest, held him under remand, and imposing a travel ban, which he alleged violated his rights under Article 5, 8, 9 of the Federal Constitution in their probe into the purported money laundering and to quash the issuance of the freezing order under Section 44 of AMLA for 10 bank accounts and 12 types of Permodalan Nasional Bhd accounts.

He also sought a mandamus (prohibition) order to compel the authorities to revoke the travel ban order and also compel them to produce the basis for the order to arrest and remand him for him to institute mala fide actions.

The lawyer is also seeking a declaration that the arrest, detention and remand orders are null and void as they are tainted with ultra vires, illegality, procedural impropriety, irrationality, mala fide, abuse of process and abuse of power by the police, and a declaration of the issuance of the wrongful freezing orders is null and void and is tainted with illegality, irrationality and mala fide.

Rosli is also seeking an interim order for him to be allowed to withdraw RM50,000 from a frozen bank account to meet with payments of debts incurred, other family expenses and payment to employees.

Purported persecution by the authorities

In his affidavit in support sighted by The Edge, Rosli claims the action against him and his firm started after former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been acquitted of four abuse of power charges in relation to his predicate offence of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) accounts.

He said although he was one of Muhyiddin’s counsel and represented Bersatu, he claimed that he was apolitical and had not even joined Bersatu.

Rosli alleged that his predicament began when the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) raided his firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership in early October, to conduct what he calls an illegal search on the firm on allegations that it received bribes or gratifications from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) settlement.

The MACC filed an application at the High Court to compel him and his law firm to produce documents pertaining to the 1MDB settlement but upon contesting the application, the MACC withdrew the matter on Dec 6.

He alleges that following MACC’s failure against him and his firm, the police were enlisted with a false narrative against his firm and him, alleging that they were involved in money laundering by issuing several press statements, that they were involved in an investment scam involving i-Serve.

Rosli alleges that as there were no complaints against i-Serve at that time, Ramli, the second respondent, incited investors of i-Serve, a company linked to MyAirline, to file a police report so that the police could conduct an investigation.

He alleges that the news became sensational when MyAirline collapsed and the founder of i-Serve was linked as the principal of MyAirline.

“A false narrative was then created that the money misappropriated from 1MDB was invested into the i-Serve group of companies and MyAirline simply because I had acted as a counsel in several cases involving i-Serve.”

“The story of i-Serve and MyAirline was used as a basis for defamation that I was involved in money laundering, when an investigative source leaked to the mass media that a lawyer was being investigated by the police,” he said.

Rosli alleged that his accounts were subjected to a freeze when he tried to pay his zakat (tithe) and umrah payment on Oct 20. Six days later on Oct 26, last year, he was arrested by the police.

“Less than 12 minutes after my arrest, the mass media reported on the arrest of a senior lawyer. This illustrates a conspiracy to smear me by leaking the arrest to the mass media,” he alleges.

He added at the time of his arrest, he was suffering from severe cold, fever and cough and further claimed that the arrest did not result in him being examined nor any statements recorded when he was brought to the commercial crime headquarters.

Instead, Rosli claimed that he was remanded at the Jinjang remand centre for overnight detention.

Getting to know i-Serve and Air Asia dispute source of remand

During remand proceedings, after being brought to the Kuala Lumpur court the next day, Rosli claimed he got to know that his detention was based on the police report made by AirAsia against i-Serve regarding several credit top-up form transactions in 2018, which he claimed had no connections with him.

“The suspects who were arrested are the shareholders, directors of i-Serve. I am not in any of these categories. I have never been involved in the management and operation of i-Serve. There is no reason to involve nor arrest me,” he said, adding that he was counsel for i-Serve in two judicial review cases against Bank Negara Malaysia and Attorney General’s Chambers.

He also revealed that his law firm had acted in a civil dispute between i-Serve and AirAsia on the termination of the ticketing backroom service that ended in a settlement between the two.

“Therefore, it is surprising that the police had acted based on a report by AirAsia which is a business rival to i-Serve. This peculiarity is more pronounced as the predicate offence under Section 420 [for cheating] of the Penal Code that has no connection whatsoever with me,” he said.

He claimed that the magistrate rejected the police remand application for seven days and was released in the evening. Prior to his release, he and other suspects were brought to the commercial crime headquarters, where he alleges there were no recording of any statement for investigation.

Upon his release, he went back to the commercial crime division on Nov 3, for the recording of his first statement where he was served with eight freezing orders for eight of his 10 bank accounts and had his PNB accounts frozen. He also later discovered that he was subjected to a travel ban after he and his wife tried to go to Singapore to visit his relatives on Nov 18.

On Nov 23, he went again to the commercial crime department and that is where he got to know the freezing of his two other bank accounts.

He alleged that his arrest in October was wrongful as it was based on a false public narrative that the commercial police investigation was on investment scam, but was a result of AirAsia report against i-Serve top-up transactions in 2018 that had no connection to him.

“This makes the arrest false and wrongful. The police have acted mala fide, in abuse of process and abuse of power, irrationally and perversely to link a case involving other parties to implicate me. The wrongful arrest using a false basis had led to my overnight detention at the Jinjang centre while I was unwell and this constitutes an oppression,” he said, adding he developed acute bronchitis soon after.

Rosli further claimed that the wrongful freezing of his accounts had deprived him of his financial commitments, and on Dec 18, the police investigating officer unfroze some of his accounts.

“The revocation of the freezing of several bank and unit trusts accounts held under PNB clearly indicates that anti-money laundering, commercial crime, and the police has realised that these accounts should not have been subjected to a blanket freeze.”

For these reasons, Rosli said he was applying for the judicial review following the police actions. His application to seek leave for judicial review is fixed for Feb 19.