PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council has criticised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for releasing alleged audio recordings of Najib Razak and several officials in discussions over dealings linked to 1MDB and SRC International.
While expressing shock over the revelations contained in the recordings, council president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor said it was unnecessary to release and broadcast the recordings as done at a press conference by MACC yesterday.
“The broadcasting live of recorded telephone conversations by the MACC is unprecedented and improper. It will invite trial-by-media even before investigations are carried out.
“The manner of the disclosure is unwarranted and has given rise to various allegations against the MACC, including allegations of contempt, subjudice, a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and a withering of the rule of law,” he said in a statement sent to FMT.
Instead, Fareed said the anti-graft body should have informed the public that the recordings existed and allowed the authorities to continue with their investigations.
He also criticised MACC chief Latheefa Koya for commenting on the veracity of the audio clips, saying it was the courts that should determine its authenticity, not her.
The anti-graft body yesterday released nine audio clips purportedly featuring Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor, ex-MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad as well as the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to MACC, others involved in the conversations were former attorney-generals Abdul Gani Patail and Mohamed Apandi Ali, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Rahim, Ihsan Perdana managing director Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin, former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Abdul Aziz Ismail and “Tan Sri Shukri”.
Apart from the UAE crown prince, the recordings also involved UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, IPIC chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan and Mubadala Development Company CEO Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.