Former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department chief Ramli Yusuff described in detail yesterday how he and his men had been fixed by the attorney-general since 2007, and how they were vindicated by the courts in being acquitted of the charges.
He also described how the AG, Abdul Gani Patail, used the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against him and his men.
Celebrating his birthday again on a leap year yesterday, Ramli said in a speech that it all began when his officers were entrusted with taking action against a syndicate member who was sent to Jeli, in Kelantan to serve restricted residence (RR) order.
The man had been accused of being involved in organised crime, including loan sharking, running an illegal lottery syndicate, prostitution and drug pushing in Johor.
"This information was given by the then deputy home minister (Johari Baharom), and the matter was considered a ‘top secret' and highly confidential case. Later, I was told to report to him directly after the file was completed.
"Accordingly, I instructed my officers to put up the case against the syndicate member, which was subsequently submitted to the deputy minister for committal under the RR order. However, upon the advice of the AG, the syndicate member was subsequently released, unconditionally," Ramli said.
"Instead, my officers were charged with taking down false and fabricated statements that implicated the then inspector-general of police (Musa Hassan).
"That's when AG Gani Patail called the original case file, which was classified as highly confidential, and passed it to the MACC to harass the witnesses," Ramli said.
Pay tribute to fearless officers
Ramli said this in his speech on his 60th birthday - his 15th birthday celebration since he was born on Feb 29 - held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre last night.
It was attended by many well-wishers, among them former Sabah chief minister Chong Kah Kiat, deputy inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar, former Home Ministry secretary-general Aseh Che Mat and other senior police officers.
Ramli said he was thankful that the people who served under him were acquitted and discharged without their defence being called.
“There was no basis whatsoever for the prosecution to appeal. All of them have been reinstated.
“Tonight, I pay tribute to these fearless officers. All of them have been reinstated and promoted. To IGP Ismail Omar, I say thank you for recognising that they have been victimised and for giving them back their dignity and honour. I am glad that the (police) force has not forsaken them.”
Ramli noted that Khalid had also investigated the same syndicate member and that the officers involved in that investigation were transferred out, including Khalid.
He noted these officers were acquitted and discharged without their defence being called and were also reinstated.
His lawyer also harassed
Ramli said a month before he was charged, his lawyer and one time university mate, Rosli Dahlan,was arrested in “a most humiliating manner” by the MACC and held overnight, and charged a day before Hari Raya that same year.
“They falsely accused Rosli (right) of failure to declare his assets. Their objective was to implicate him for representing me, after they found that all the sensational stories spread by them through the mainstream media about me being the RM27 million cop were nothing but blatant lies.”
The former top cop said the MACC was unhappy with Rosli because he helped us (Ramli and Johari) to prepare affidavits that were supposed to be prepared by a senior federal counsel with the Home Ministry.
“The AG (Gani) was angry with Rosli for pointing out that the refusal by the Attorney-General's Chambers to prepare these affidavits (to challenge the release of the syndicate member) amounted to an abdication of his constitutional duties under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.
“Because they were out to get me, and get me good, they pursued all avenues within their powers, regardless of the consequences on innocent parties like Rosli. This unconscionable conduct alarmed me as a law enforcment officer,” Ramli said.
Having served the police force with great pride for 38 years, he said, all that came to an abrupt halt on Nov 1, 2007, when, three months shy of his retirement, he was charged in court.
“On that fateful day, life was no longer as I knew it. Overnight, my career was destroyed, my reputation tarnished and the privileges accorded to me stripped away.
“Like living in a nightmare, I found myself being singled out as a corrupt officer and the full strength of multiple bodies in power at that period of time had their crosshairs on me.
“With God's grace, I have now been vindicated of all the charges because they are nothing more than falsehood. Although there were many efforts made to condemn me in the public eye, I had decided after being a civil servant, the only way to proceed was to prove my innocence...”
Ramli said that though “the powers that be” were determined to use all possible means to see him be convicted, he was not called to make his defence on any of the five charges levelled against him.
“I am well on the way to complete exoneration. As they say, you can’t keep a good man down. However, as of today, I am patiently awaiting one more appeal by the AG pertaining to a summons case, the most minor of the charges.
“I am, however, sad to point out that my pension and gratuity have been withheld since 2008, as I am said to be not yet fully cleared of all charges against me. That to me explained why the AG Chambers have kept this appeal suspended to this day.”
He ended his speech by saying that he could not, and would not, allow such abuses to take place again and that he would not sit idly by letting such incidents to be repeated.