KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said former attorney-general (AG) Idrus Harun insisted on seeking a conditional discharge for deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi before his final day in office.
“The AG (Idrus) said the earliest date the court could set was on Sept 4, and Sept 5 was his last day (in office).
“He (said) he didn’t want to leave this responsibility to his successor,” Anwar told reporters after Friday prayers.
Anwar said if it were up to him, he would have preferred a later court date, after tomorrow’s Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections.
Anwar once again denied having a hand in the court’s decision to grant Zahid a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) in his Yayasan Akalbudi case.
“I myself sought an explanation from the AG. I don’t blame the people for seeking further explanation,” he said, adding that the presiding judge was satisfied with the 11 points put forward by the prosecution when it requested for the DNAA.
On calls for the separation of the public prosecutor’s office from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), Anwar said efforts are ongoing.
He said a proposal paper had been presented to the Cabinet a few months ago for approval on separating the two offices.
“We have even referred it to a parliamentary committee, and it (the separation of the two offices) would cost a lot of money. (But) if it has to be done, then it will be done.
“Please don’t suggest that it has not been decided. This government has made a decision but we cannot bulldoze it in a few weeks and we need a two-third’s majority to effect this reform,” he said.
On Monday, Bersih urged the prime minister to unveil a plan and schedule “this week” for the separation of the public prosecutor’s role from the AGC.
The electoral reform group said thorough recommendations had been drawn up previously on how the separation of powers could be done. “The only action left is to implement it,” it said.
It added that, until the separation is done, the AGC must refrain from withdrawing charges in high-profile cases.
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