Friday 10 June 2011

Ex-cop claims AG concealed billion-ringgit scandals

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — A senior ex-cop has accused Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail of burying evidence of corruption by senior government leaders between 1994 and 1996, involving losses of at least RM12 billion in public funds.

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim said Abdul Gani, then a senior public prosecutor heading the prosecution division in 1994, was involved in covering up the roles of “ministers and chief ministers” in scandals such as the RM8 billion and RM4 billion losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Perwaja Steel respectively.

“Between 1994 and 1996, Gani Patail was busy playing his role in closing cases or burying information that linked ministers or chief ministers who could be proven to have abused power or were corrupt. This includes the Perwaja case and also the one related to Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli,” the former Kuala Lumpur criminal investigation chief said in an open letter to the prime minister today.

Mat Zain was referring to MAS’s claim that Tajuddin was responsible for RM8 billion in losses during his tenure as executive chairman of the national carrier from 1994 to 2001.

In the letter, he added that Tajuddin, who he refers to as TRI, used a similar modus operandi of “signing long-term and lopsided contracts” similarly used by Perwaja Steel as well as Tenaga Nasional Berhad in its power deals with independent power producers (IPP) that is said to cost taxpayers RM20 billion a year.

“There are similarities in the MO used by all three companies. A common factor may be found and we cannot ignore the possibility that the persons involved in all the agreements are the same,” said Mat Zain, who headed the 1998 police probe into former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye case.

He added that the 1994-6 period seemed rife with scandals, including holidays taken by former Chief Justice Tan Sri Eusuff Chin and former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah with lawyer Datuk VK Lingam, who was implicated in fixing judicial appointments.

Mat Zain had sent the letter to Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to state that the Malaysian Anti-Courruption Commission (MACC) operations evaluation panel had no power to clear Abdul Gani from allegations of graft related Tajuddin’s tenure as MAS executive chairman.

He said the MACC corruption prevention advisory panel had concurred that the MACC Act did not allow the evaluation panel to review decisions made by the anti-graft body.

The country’s top lawyer had met the MACC board and panel members for a dialogue in January and was cleared of “consorting with Shahidan Shafie, who is alleged to be a proxy for Tajuddin”.

Mat Zain has repeatedly accused Abdul Gani of having deceived the federal government and recently called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Attorney-General’s role in destroying public confidence in the police.

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