By Hafiz Yatim | The Edge Markets

The High Court on Friday (Dec 23) allowed the discharge and acquittal of two senior executives of Aker Engineering Malaysia from the respective charge they faced under the Companies Act 2016 and the Penal Code.

In allowing the striking-out application, judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin ruled that the charges brought against the company’s Senior Deputy President Ahmad Hatta Kamaruzzaman and Director Mohd Yusof Ab Rahman, while not mala fide (made in bad faith), were defective.

In the case of Ahmad Hatta, 51, who was charged with misleading the Registrar of Companies, the judge said this was not a crime and that the prosecution was confused by the provisions of the Companies Act 2016.

“It is clear that the applicant has been charged with an offence that is not legislated by law. Hence, his application to strike out the charge is allowed,” the judge said.

Ahmad Hatta was charged with providing false material information in a report dated May 19, 2017 about Aker Engineering Malaysia Sdn Bhd to the Registrar of Companies. The alleged false information states that “none of the members of the company is holding shares as nominee or trustee”, which he knew was false. The charge was made under section 591(2)(a) of the Companies Act 2016.

As for Mohd Yusof — who was charged with using forged documents based on section 471 of the Penal Code through an action allegedly committed by another person — the judge said section 471 does not allow one to be charged for the alleged actions of another.

“Hence the court agrees (with the defence’s argument) that the charge on the accused (Mohd Yusof) under section 471 of the Penal Code for an offence done by another person is considered defective and has no basis,” he added.

Mohd Yusof, 55, was charged with using the forged documents to support the company’s application to renew a work licence as a contractor of another company. He was accused of having committed the offence in Tower 1 of Petronas Twin Towers on April 26, 2018, allegedly through one Wan Suet Yin. Although the charge sheet did not mention the company he was dealing with, it is understood that it is related to the national oil company.

For the reasons mentioned, the court allowed the two charges to be struck out as it found them to be groundless.

Both Ahmad Hatta and Mohd Yusof were represented by Amer Hamzah Arshad, Joshua Tay, and Michael Cheah, while S. Devanandan held a watching brief for Aker Engineering Malaysia.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Law Chin How and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Tahir appeared for the prosecution.