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Mahathir to testify before forex losses RCI, says lawyer

 | September 12, 2017

An appointment will be made to record Mahathir's witness statement, and a request made for copies of documents that will be referred to the former prime minister during the hearing.


PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad will testify before the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses on Sept 18, his lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said.

“I have accepted a subpoena this afternoon from a RCI secretariat staff member on behalf of my client who is attending the funeral of the late Kedah sultan,” he said.

The lawyer said secretariat officer Amran Jisun was unable to shed light as to whether a witness statement would be recorded from the former prime minister.

“We would like to fix an appointment this week for the statement to be recorded before my client takes the stand,” he said.

Haniff said he would officially write to RCI secretary Yusof Ismail to request for copies of documents that would be shown to Mahathir during the proceedings.

The lawyer said Mahathir would be present at the proceeding as he was being compelled to attend but his legal suit to disqualify the RCI chairman and a member still remains intact. The suit is pending in the Court of Appeal.

So far, 21 witnesses have testified before the tribunal, including de facto opposition Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar had testified without giving a witness statement.

He had also appeared before a special task force which conducted a preliminary investigation into the forex losses.

Since the proceeding started on Aug 21, Mahathir was present twice to follow the proceedings.

Haniff, in earlier interviews with the media, had said Mahathir should be called to testify as he was prime minister when the alleged scandal took place.

Mahathir himself said he could assist the RCI as he had a lot of information about the forex losses.

On Aug 30, former finance ministry secretary-general Clifford Francis Herbert narrated that Mahathir appeared calm and composed when informed that BNM had suffered forex losses of about RM30 billion.

Appearing before the five-man tribunal, chaired by Mohd Sidek Hassan, Clifford related how Mahathir simply said: “Sometimes, we make profits and sometimes we make losses.”

The witness said the incident took place at the prime minister’s office in late 1993 when he along with Anwar briefed Mahathir about the billions in forex losses.

Anwar was finance minister from 1991 until he was sacked from the government by Mahathir in 1998.


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