KUALA LUMPUR, 1 Dec 2008: Perak royalty Raja Izzuddin Iskandar Shah has been cleared by the High Court here from the charge of abetting his former private secretary in cheating a businesswoman and her mother.
The same court also upheld the acquittal of the former private secretary, Datuk Ibrahim Zulkifli, of the principle offence.
Justice Datuk Mohamed Apandi Ali today said the court had no choice other than finding for the two men because all elements of deceit and deception which formed the essence of the charges broke apart because of exculpatory evidence by the victims.
Raja Izzuddin, 54, was alleged to have abetted Ibrahim in making Fong Seow Kai Chuan, 38, and Fong Nyok Lan, 69, contribute RM150,000 to them as “palace fund” by telling the daughter that her mother would be nominated for the Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) award at Lot 7127, Jalan Pasar Sambungan, Teluk Intan, between 11 March and 2 April 2003.
Alternatively, Raja Izzuddin was charged with cheating the two women of RM80,000 by telling them that he had a say in the conferment of state awards and that he had supported the nomination of Nyok Lan to be bestowed the award at Istana Seri Tambun, Tambun Height, Ipoh, between 27 March and 2 April 2003.
Ibrahim, 46, had faced two counts of cheating and one alternative charge for the second.
The offences were allegedly committed at Lot 7127, Jalan Pasar Sambungan, Teluk Intan between 10 and 11 March 2003 for the first charge, between 11 March and 2 April 2003 for the second and between 11 and 29 March 2003 for the alternative.
In 2006, the Teluk Intan Sessions Court acquitted and discharged both men of all charges without ordering them to enter defence.
The prosecution’a appeal was heard before Apandi after two Ipoh High Court judges recused themselves on grounds of acquaintance with Raja Izzuddin.
Following today’s decision, the prosecution’s final avenue of appeal is to take the case up to the Court of Appeal.
In his judgement, Apandi said: “The exculpatory evidence in itself has and can free both respondents of all charges against them.”
He said the trial judge had thoroughly and correctly analysed the law with regard to all the issues raised, and the findings of facts by the trial judge were based on all evidence produced by the prosecution.
“In a cheating case, the accused does not need to prove any facts except and suffice to cast a reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s case,” he said.
Lawyer S Selvam acted for Raja Izzuddin while Amrit Pal Singh for Ibrahim. The prosecution was represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Azmi Ariffin.
Raja Izzuddin who is the late Sultan Idris Shah’s son, was previously third in line to the Perak throne after Raja Muda Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and Raja Di Hilir Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa.
He was stripped of the title Raja Kechil Besar of Perak in 2006 after he was declared a bankrupt on 27 March 1990. Early this year, he failed to obtain leave for a judicial review in a bid to have him reinstated as Raja Kechil Besar of Perak. — Bernama