This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 27, 2019
KUALA LUMPUR: Former director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre Datuk N Sundra Rajoo was charged at the Sessions Court here yesterday with three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM1.01 million.
Sundra Rajoo, 63, claimed trial to all three charges, and also claimed immunity. He is charged with CBT of RM89,700, RM621,172.50 and RM300,495 of the funds belonging to the centre between Dec 8, 2016 and Aug 17, 2018.
If convicted Sundra Rajoo stands to face a minimum of two years to 20 years in jail and a fine.
He had earlier failed to get permission to apply for a judicial review at the High Court here when Justice Datuk Nordin Hassan ruled that the court has no jurisdiction to question the attorney-general’s discretion under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to charge anyone who claims immunity.
Nordin ruled that the argument on Sundra Rajoo’s immunity should be made in a criminal court and not a civil court.
Sundra Rajoo was later taken to the Sessions Court to face the charges.
At the Sessions Court, deputy public prosecutor Kamal Bahrin Omar offered bail at RM200,000 with one surety and asked that the accused surrender his international passport.
His lawyers at the criminal proceedings, led by Datuk Baljit Singh, asked for bail to be reduced to RM50,000 on his client’s own surety, as Sundra Rajoo had received a letter from the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation addressed to the foreign ministry and attorney-general vouching for his immunity.
Baljit also told the court that Sundra Rajoo needs to travel abroad due to his work as an arbitrator and his next working trip is tomorrow.
The lawyer also said they would take up arguments on the immunity issue and consider applying to transfer the case to the High Court after getting all the documents.
Judge Azura Alwi fixed bail at RM100,000 with one surety and ordered that Sundra surrender his passport on April 2.
She also fixed May 3 for mention.