Lawyer removed from tribunal on ex-EC members?

M Puravalen (right) at the Klang court complex on Jan 28 after attending a hearing of the tribunal to investigate ex-EC members.

PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas has removed a lawyer representing the government in the tribunal to probe former Election Commision (EC) members, FMT has learnt.

It is understood that M Puravelan, the conducting officer in the tribunal to investigate six ex-EC members over the way they handled last year’s general election, was informed by Thomas that he no longer represented the government.

“It is unclear when the letter was sent to Puravelan after the tribunal sat on Monday, ” a source told FMT.

Puravelan was not available for comments.

This comes a day after Thomas disagreed with a statement by Puravelan that the outcome of the tribunal would be academic as the ex-EC members had already resigned.

“These are very serious charges which, if established, will demonstrate personal culpability on the part of the EC members for the way in which GE14 was organised,” Thomas had said.

Thomas also accused the former EC members of trying to frustrate the tribunal’s investigations by resigning and attempting to “avoid the ignominy of being removed”.

The tribunal, which is made up of Zaleha Zahari, Suriyadi Halim Omar, Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham, is expected to deliver its ruling on whether the matter is academic on a date to be fixed.

It is understood that 13 charges were framed against the six former EC members in connection with their role in preparing the redelineation report and the manner in which the May 9 polls were conducted.

The six – Othman Mahmood, Md Yusop Mansor, Abdul Aziz Khalidin, Sulaiman Narawi, Bala Singam Karupiah and Leo Chong Cheong – quit shortly after the government’s announcement that a tribunal would be set up to investigate claims of misconduct against them.