Cops record statement from judge Hamid

PUTRAJAYA: Police today have recorded a statement from Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, the Court of Appeal judge behind an explosive affidavit detailing misconduct by unidentified judges.

His lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdullah said Hamid, however, declined to give details as he would only do so before a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) the government agreed to set up.

“The judge is prepared to reveal everything on his affidavit before the RCI,” Haniff told FMT.

He said two police officers from Bukit Aman met Hamid in his chambers today for about an hour following a report lodged by the Chief Registrar’s Office on Feb 15.

Haniff said the officers did not state the specific provision of the law being used as the basis of the investigation.

Hanif and co-counsel Joy Wilson Appukuttan were present during the session with police.

Hanif said Attorney-General Tommy Thomas should now advise police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to suspend investigations, since an RCI would probe into the affidavit.

He said police were acting on a report by the Chief Registrar’s Office because the “sweeping contents” in the affidavit tarnished the judiciary’s image.

On Feb 18, Hamid told an MACC team who met him in chambers that he was prepared to tell everything only at an RCI.

Two days later, the Cabinet agreed to set up the RCI on the state of the Malaysian judiciary.

Earlier, Hamid 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 the late Karpal Singh, while another on a claim by Hamid that he was chided by a top judge for delivering a dissenting judgment in the unilateral conversion case involving kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi.

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 a pending appeal before the Federal Court.

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

On the second case, Malanjum had said a probe could not be carried out as the judge in question had already retired.