Court sets April 18 for decision on Peter Anthony’s appeal

KUALA LUMPUR:  The High Court on Wednesday set April 18 for its decision on the appeal of former Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony to set aside his conviction and three-year prison sentence and a fine of RM50,000 for forgery of letters related to a maintenance and service contract at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache fixed the date after listening to submissions from lawyer S. Devanandan representing Peter as the appellant and deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.
Earlier Devanandan argued that the letter regarding the M&E System maintenance and service contract at UMS was signed by the eighth prosecution witness (SP8), UMS deputy vice-chancellor (Academic & International) Prof Dr Shariff Abdul Kadir S. Omang and not the appellant.
“SP8 in his testimony confirmed that he signed the letter on behalf of UMS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Harun Abdullah (SP1), but SP1 in his testimony said that he had never authorised SP8 to sign the letter.
“As such, the appellant is not involved in this matter and I request that the appellant’s appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence be allowed by the court,” he said.
Wan Shaharuddin meanwhile, argued that the trial judge had examined that there were circumstantial evidence in convicting the accused, namely, who stands to gain if the maintenance project was awarded to any party and who had the opportunity to forge letters related to the project.


“The trial judge found that the element of forgery was completed when the letter was handed over to the late Datuk Azlin Alias who was then principal private secretary to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“This shows that the appellant (Peter) is the ‘maker’ of the letter and not SP8,” he said.
According to Wan Shaharuddin, the appellant knew that the project was offered through an open tender but he had cheated and intended to hijack the project.
“When defending himself, the accused himself admitted that it is a common practice to hijack projects in this country, even though they are offered through an open tender. This is very sad and as such, the prosecution urge that the court reject the appellant’s appeal and uphold the conviction and sentence against him,” said Wan Shaharuddin.
In June last year, Peter, 52, filed an appeal against the prison sentence and fine handed down by Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi on May 26, 2022 after finding him guilty of the charge.
Peter, as the managing director of Syarikat Asli Jati Sdn Bhd, was charged with falsifying a letter from the office of UMS deputy vice-chancellor dated June 9, 2014 which included false statements with the intention to deceive.
The offence committed in the office of the principal private secretary to the prime minister at Perdana Putra building, Putrajaya between June 13 and Aug 21, 2014 was framed under Section 468 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a fine.
The Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia (KDM) chief has paid the RM50,000 fine.

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