Ex-intel chief Hasanah remanded 5 days

PUTRAJAYA: Former intelligence head Hasanah Ab Hamid has been remanded for five days beginning today to facilitate investigations into alleged abuse of power.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akril Gharib initially sought a seven-day remand, but magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim only allowed a five-day remand.

Hasanah’s lawyer Shaharudin Ali meanwhile said he would file an application at the Federal Court to challenge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), saying its officers had prevented him from meeting his client.

Hasanah was arrested by the anti-graft agency last night, reportedly in connection with alleged misappropriation of government funds for the May 9 general election.

A deputy director-general with a “Datuk” title and six administrative and diplomatic officers at the Prime Minister’s Department were earlier remanded for five days to assist in the investigation into the matter.

Hasanah entered the limelight after it was revealed that she had written a letter to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before the election, seeking support for the Barisan Nasional government.

Hasanah, who headed the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), an intelligence unit under the Prime Minister’s Department, said the letter to CIA director Gina Haspel was considered a state secret.

According to Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun, police have questioned several MEIO officers, including those stationed in Washington, as part of the probe into the leak.