PETALING JAYA: The Attorney-General has the power to name anyone as witness to prove a criminal charge against an accused person, a lawyer said, after an opposition leader questioned Pakatan Harapan’s silence over the involvement of an aide to the prime minister in a graft case.
Muhammad Zahid Arip, a political secretary to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has been named in the charge sheet against former Felda chairman Isa Samad, who is accused of accepting bribes amounting to RM3 million.
According to the charge sheet, Zahid had collected the money on Isa’s behalf.
S N Nair said there was nothing unusual if Zahid was named a witness to testify for the prosecution.
“He could even rely on a purported abettor or accomplice as crown witness to secure a conviction against the principal offender,” the lawyer told FMT.
Yesterday, MCA president Wee Ka Siong questioned government leaders for keeping silent over Zahid’s involvement.
“Have all of these so-called proponents of clean government been fully muted now due to personal interests and their comfy positions in the ruling government?” asked Wee.
But Nair said it was premature for Wee to paint Zahid in a negative light as there were facts and evidence of the case that the public was not aware of.
“The public could only make a judgment once the trial starts and Zahid has given evidence,” he said.
He said Wee was making an “unsubstantiated allegation” against Zahid based on media reports, and warned that the MCA leader could be liable for defamation.
Zahid had not been charged. Mahathir had previously defended Zahid, saying at this juncture, the allegations against Zahid were mere accusations.