Normal for AG to prosecute in high-profile case, says Shafee

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KUALA LUMPUR: Having the Attorney-General (A-G) conduct the prosecution in a high-profile case, especially involving a dignitary or minister, is normal and more proper, says senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

In the case of Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali personally conducting the prosecution against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who faces two counts of corruption, Shafee said: “It is normal and in fact, it has been expected.

“When there is prosecution on the government’s side, everybody feels happy, but if the prosecution is against the Opposition, they say it is selective prosecution. Why so?

“In the corruption case involving former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Kasitah Gadam, (then) Attorney-General Gani Patail prosecuted and at that time, Kasitah was still a cabinet minister.

“I think it is more proper and more appropriate for the A-G to prosecute (in such cases).”

He was replying to reporters at the High Court here today, when asked whether it was appropriate for Mohamed Apandi to conduct the prosecution against the Penang chief minister.

Shafee was met after a court proceeding on the hearing of an application by former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to get Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to be called to testify first in the hearing of his suit against the minister.

Judicial Commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan set July 22 for decision on the matter.

Anwar had filed the suit against Khairy on March 7, 2008, claiming that the latter had uttered defamatory words and caused the posting on websites, including Malaysiakini.com, of a video clip entitled, “Anwar and kin no threat”.

BERNAMA