Issues arise when anti-graft bodies lack power to prosecute

corrupKUALA LUMPUR: Many of the problems with anti-corruption bodies around the world stem from their lack of power to prosecute, said a senior anti-corruption figure today.

Elnur Musayev, a senior prosecutor in Azerbaijan’s Anti-Corruption Department said the department’s chief could prosecute cases without referring to the Prosecutor-General of Azerbaijan.

He explained that if investigators in the country did not find any elements of corruption in a case, they would drop it and would not submit papers to the department’s chief.

“A lot of problems with anti-corruption agencies all over the world arise when they submit investigation papers to the prosecution who can decide whether to prosecute or not,” he said adding, Azerbaijan’s system allowed for the anti-corruption department to both investigate and prosecute corruption cases.

On Monday, FMT reported that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had returned investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for further clarification.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said the AGC wanted the MACC to explain the suggestions and actions it proposed.

On the issue of political funding, Elnur said it was a hot topic around the world, and that slowly, more countries would adopt political funding laws.

He said Azerbaijan, a member of Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), had adopted full systems of electoral monitoring, which included ensuring transparency of political party financing.

“Every donation must be made within a certain amount and must go through the banking system and be accounted for.

“At the end of the day every political party must submit accounting documents to specially designated bodies that will review its financial activities.”

Musayev is among 29 anti-corruption officials from around the world undergoing training at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy as part of their Masters in Anti-corruption Studies programme.

The issue of political donations has been a hot topic since Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament that the RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal account was a political donation.

He said that the MACC had confirmed this and that Malaysia had no laws stipulating that political donations must be declared or stopped.

Previously, Najib claimed that the government had wanted to introduce political funding laws but that the DAP was against this.

The DAP has since denied this allegation.