By Bernama | The Edge Markets

Aker Engineering Malaysia group senior deputy president Ahmad Hatta Kamaruzzaman, who has been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on charges of deception and fraud, has applied to quash a new charge under the Companies Act 2016 made against him on the grounds that it was baseless.

A similar application was also filed by company director Mohd Yusof Ab Rahman, who is facing a charge of falsifying documents in the company’s application for renewal of a licence from an oil and gas company in 2018.

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad, representing both applicants, told High Court judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin that the applications were filed on the grounds that the charges made against his clients were defective and with malicious intent.

He submitted that Ahmad Hatta had never misled the Registrar of Companies by submitting false statements, and the prosecution against him contradicted the policy issued by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

He told the court that Ahmad Hatta was previously charged in the Sessions Court here under section 471 of the Penal Code for cheating, but the defence objected to the charge as it was flawed, and the court discharged without acquitting the accused of the charge on Nov 25 last year.

“However, last February, my client was charged with a new charge under the Companies Act by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and the agency has no jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute him for an offence under the Companies Act,” he said.

Amer Hamzah also claimed that the MACC had abused its power by prosecuting another of his clients, Mohd Yusof.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Law Chin How, from the MACC, argued that both cases need to go through a trial to determine the truth, and that the charges made against the two men were with basis.

“The charges will not prejudice the two accused, and the question of fact raised by the defence should be decided through a trial in the Sessions Court,” he said.

The judge then set Dec 23 for the decision.

According to the new charge, Ahmad Hatta, 51, is alleged to have misled the Registrar of Companies with a false statement regarding material details in “Annual Return of Company Having Share Capital Aker Engineering Malaysia Sdn Bhd”, dated May 19, 2017, a document required to be submitted to the Registrar of Companies in accordance with the provisions of section 68 of the Companies Act.

He was charged with committing the offence in June 2017 at Menara SSM@Sentral, No 7 Jalan Stesen Sentral 5 here.

The charge was framed under section 591(2)(a) of the Companies Act, which provides imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine not exceeding RM3 million, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Mohd Yusof, 55, was charged through an Aker Engineering employee, Wan Suet Yin, to have used the same false document, which was attached as a supporting document stating that the accused was not a trustee of the shareholder of the Aker Engineering company for the renewal of the licence “Standardised Work & Equipment Categories (SWEC) through the Enterprise Buyer Portal”, where he was the trustee.

He was charged with committing the offence at the Petronas Twin Towers on April 26, 2018.

The charge, framed under section 471 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 465 of the same law, provides imprisonment for up to two years or a fine or both, if found guilty.