Lawyer’s acquittal won’t affect another case against him

PETALING JAYA: The acquittal of senior corporate lawyer Datuk Sreesanthan Eliathamby for insider trading does not affect another ongoing civil proceeding against him, said the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today.

It elaborated that the ongoing suit is in relation to the acquisition of 600,000 shares of Worldwide Holdings Bhd between June and July 2006, while in possession of material non-public information.

In this proceeding, the regulator stated that Sreesanthan was found liable by the High Court on Nov 4, 2020 and ordered to pay RM1.99 million in disgorgement to the SC, a RM1 million civil penalty and barred from holding directorships of public listed companies for a period of 10 years effective Nov 18, 2020. He has filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal against this decision.

Sreesanthan was also charged for insider trading in July 2012 involving Maxis Communications Bhd, UEM World Bhd and VADS Bhd’s shares between October 2006 and September 2008 when he was a senior partner of a law firm involved in the corporate exercises of these companies.

Although the SC had charged him in 2012, it explained the trial only commenced in 2019 as he had challenged the constitutionality of the regulator’s investigative powers in September 2012. The lawyer had also filed an application to strike out the criminal charges against him and sought for the disclosure of witnesses’ statements and documents.

Sreesanthan has agreed to pay RM900,000 disgorgement of profits as part of a regulatory settlement agreement with the SC for insider trading of the shares of Maxis, UEM World and VADS.

“Following this settlement, the SC, with the consent of the public prosecutor, withdrew related criminal proceedings against Sreesanthan and its appeal against his acquittal in another case for insider trading of Sime Darby Bhd shares.”