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Lawyer: AG has no power to investigate MACC chief

 | October 23, 2017

He says AG is exclusively a prosecutor and must be seen to be independent of all investigating agencies.


PETALING JAYA: The Attorney-General’s (AG) decision to appoint his officer to oversee police investigations into allegations that a senior Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer was having a tryst with a married woman in Bali, Indonesia, is setting a wrong precedent, a lawyer said.

SN Nair said Mohamed Apandi Ali had no legal authority to set up a task force or appoint his officials to lead a unit for a special task.

“The AG is exclusively a prosecutor and must be seen to be independent of all investigating agencies,” he said in response to Apandi’s announcement on Saturday that the head of the prosecution division in the AG’s chambers is leading the special task force set up to investigate MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Nair said the principle of separation of powers applied strictly as it was designed to ensure the concept of “check and balance” in the criminal justice system in Malaysia.

The ex-cop-turned-lawyer said the AG may at times direct investigations in certain cases of public interest.

“Only to direct and nothing more. The AG cannot investigate as he is not conferred with such powers in our laws. The AG cannot even be involved in the investigation process.”

Nair questioned the need for the task force since police have started investigations.

He said once a report was lodged, it was for the police to classify and open an investigation paper.

He said police would then submit the outcome of its investigation to the AG with recommendations.

Finally, he said, it was up to the AG to frame charges against the suspect, an absolute discretion given to him under Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

“The AG too must respect and follow the rule of law,” he added.

Apandi, in a statement on Thursday, said the task force was set up on Oct 16 to closely monitor investigations into the offence under Section 498 of the Penal Code for enticing a married woman with criminal intent.

On Saturday, Apandi, in clarifying the formation of the task force, said it was required as it involved allegations which affected the integrity of a person who heads the MACC and which required the highest moral standards.

“So, I as the AG and law practitioner always believe the truth must exist… we do not know whether the matter is pure slander or it’s true, and what’s being done now is to seek the truth,” he said.

To this, Nair said any misconduct by Dzulkifli came under the purview of a disciplinary board, pursuant to Chapter D of the General Orders.

A closed-circuit television camera video has emerged apparently showing Dzulkifli and a married woman holding hands and going into a restaurant in Bali sometime in July this year.

Another video clip shows flight tickets, hotel registration papers and other footages of the couple and luggage being moved out of a hotel.

Dzulkifli last week responded to the alleged scandal, saying it was “dirty and disgusting attacks” by people whom he did not identify.

However, the MACC chief did not deny the alleged affair with the woman.

She and her husband divorced last month.

Following a report by a marketing executive, Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said police are investigating the case.

“Give us time to investigate this matter. It is not easy for us to detect (who is responsible), but we are trying hard to find out who it is,” he said.

DAP’s legal bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo has called on the police to provide an update on their investigations, saying Fuzi needs to only call Dzulkifli to determine the authenticity of a video that has gone viral.

Gobind wants police update on alleged Bali affair investigations

AG forms taskforce to probe MACC chief


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