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Former managing director of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor on Tuesday (Aug 16) pleaded not guilty to three charges of criminal breach of trust over the littoral combatant ship (LCS) scandal. The 78-year- old, who used to be Malaysia's navy chief, was alleged to have authorised payments totalling more than RM21 million (US$4.7 million) to three companies without the approval of the BNS' board of directors. According to the charge sheet, all the payments were made to the companies’ bank accounts in Singapore.

Ahmad Ramli, who was commander of the Malaysian Royal Navy from 1996 to 1998, pleaded not guilty to all the charges read out before Judge Suzana Hussin. "I understand (the charges), I plead not guilty and claim trial,” Ahmad Ramli was quoted by Bernama as saying.

On the first charge, he was alleged to have approved a payment of about RM13.5 million to Syarikat Setaria Holding Limited between Jul 26, 2010 and Mar 25, 2011. On the second charge, Ahmad Ramli was alleged to have approved a payment of about RM1.4 million to JSD Corporation between Apr 19, 2011 and May 4, 2011. He is also accused of another similar offence in a payment involving nearly RM6.2 million, to Syarikat Sousmarin Armada Ltd between Oct 28, 2010 and Nov 22, 2010.

Bernama reported that the three charges come under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years with whipping, and the possibility of a fine upon conviction.Ahmad Ramli was allowed bail of RM500,000 with a paid surety of RM200,000 for all charges. The court also set Nov 24 for the case to be mentioned.

Source : CNA