KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here today acquitted a former pharmaceutical company director and the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) from charges of submitting false claims relating to the refunds for purchases of several stickpack machines worth RM1.2 million to the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry in 2014.

Judge Rozina Ayob announced the decision after finding that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against company director Gulam Rusol Md Ismail, 60, and CFO Kamaruzzaman Kamaludeen, 50.

In her judgment, she said there were defects in the charges against both the accused.

“The prosecution failed to state specifically what the false details were that are said to have deceived the ministry, and that is a defect that has been detrimental to the prosecutions case and is prejudicial against both of the accused,” she said, adding that the court found that when the audit team was present at Natureceuticals Sdn Bhd (NCSB), the machines were not there as the cancellation of purchase was made by the 12th prosecution witness, then-NCSB director Dr Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid, and not both of the accused.

“The machines were no longer under the control of both the accused. Therefore they are acquitted and freed without having their defence called for the charges, with bail and passports to be returned to them,” Rozina instructed.

A total of 15 witnesses were called by the prosecution to testify at the trial that began on Jan 28, 2022.

The prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutors Raya Rasyidah Murni Azmi and Natrah Fareha Rahmat, while lawyer Wan Azwan Aiman Wan Fakhruddin represented Gulam Rusol and lawyer Muhammad Irzan Iswatt Noor Mohd was Kamaruzzaman’s counsel.

Gulam Rusol and Kamaruzzaman were charged under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. - Bernama