Lawyer: Judge who affirmed affidavit on judges’ misconduct wants RCI

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla says Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer is prepared to reveal the contents of the affidavit only at an RCI.

PUTRAJAYA: A senior Court of Appeal judge, who authored an explosive affidavit outlining alleged misconduct by unidentified judges, is prepared to tell everything only at a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), a lawyer said today.

The judge, Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, said he could not reveal anything at the moment as it would implicate court registrars and other judges, his lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said.

“He is prepared to reveal the contents of the affidavit only at an RCI,” Haniff told reporters today.

Earlier today, a five-man Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) team led by its deputy chief commissioner (operations), Azam Baki, met Hamid at his office for about an hour.

Also present was Joy Appukuttan, another counsel for Hamid.

Haniff said he told MACC the minister concerned should urge the government to form an RCI within three to five months.

“But before that, a task force should be set up to receive complaints from judges, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the public on possible judicial impropriety in the past,” he said.

The Chief Registrar’s Office said on Friday that it filed a police report after the “sweeping contents” of the affidavit tarnished the image of the judiciary.

It said the allegations could undermine public confidence in the institution and even have an adverse effect on the administration of justice.

Hamid had affirmed the affidavit in support of legal action by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo against the purported failure by Chief Justice Richard Malanjum to complete investigations into two cases of alleged judicial interference.

One is a sedition case against Sangeet’s father, the late Karpal Singh, while another was made by Hamid, who claimed he was chided by a top judge for delivering a dissenting judgment in the M Indira Gandhi unilateral conversion case.

Malanjum’s special officer, Mohd Aizuddin Zolkeply, in an affidavit in reply to Sangeet’s originating summons, said investigations into Karpal’s case were suspended due to an ongoing police probe and the pending appeal before the Federal Court.

He also said the probe into Karpal’s case could not be carried out as the three Court of Appeal judges were still serving.

Regarding the second case, Malanjum had said the investigation into the alleged misconduct could not be carried out as the judge in question had already retired.