Tuesday 27 March 2012

Ramli: Minister's response to 'Copgate' defies logic

Following Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s mind boggling response in Parliament last night to opposition MP’s queries over the ‘Copgate’ affair, former top cop Ramli Yusuff said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is not the right agency to conduct an independent investigation.

ramli yusuff asset declare case 120310 04Describing Hishammuddin’s reply to the MPs as defying logic, Ramli (left) the former Commercial Crime Investigations Department director, told Malaysiakini the MACC was the very agency used by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and former inspector general of police Musa Hassan to “fix” him and his men.

“It was the same agency whom I say worked hand in glove with Gani to tamper with police witnesses, circumvented police investigations and fabricated evidence.

“The MACC was also the agency that cleared Musa and Gani in many other allegations, including the attorney-general’s refusal to prosecute Tajudin Ramli or his (Gani’s) controversial haj trip with a proxy of Tajudin.

“How could the home minister make such a proposition, as if mocking the criminal justice system,” he said.

NONEYesterday, Hishammuddin (right) when questioned by three Pakatan Rakyat MPs, namely Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) and Sivarasa Rasiah (PKR-Subang), had suggested that the complaints be channelled to the MACC.

Commenting on this further, Ramli said it was unfair for the home minister to claim “the proper agency to investigate is the MACC” because it involves a former IGP, and if the police investigate they (the opposition) will say it is not fair.

“I do not think anyone, including the opposition, will complain if an investigation is conducted independently, properly and fairly.

“Police investigators have always risen to the occasion when I was deputy director of CID and we investigated our own serving IGP Abdul Rahim Noor in the ‘black eye’ incident.

“If we can investigate objectively against a serving IGP, what more an ex-IGP?” he asked.

List of offences under Penal Code

In providing a clear list of offences yet by Gani and Musa, Ramli said the two had abused their positions by tampering with witnesses, fabrication of evidence, circumventing police investigations, obstructing justice and all other offences that come under the Penal Code.

The former CCID director said the principal agency enforcing the Penal Code is the police and not the MACC.

“We should leave the MACC to do what they do best, that is fighting corruption. While I would like to respect the view expressed by the home minister, unfortunately I cannot agree to what he had said in Parliament.

“Like the home minister, I too am a qualified lawyer. Additionally, I am an experienced career police officer of 37 years, all of which was with the CID,” he added.

In ticking off Hishammuddin, Ramli further said the home minister should not be telling the police what to do as they should be left to operate on their own, and the force which had celebrated its 205th Police Day anniversary knows what to do.

He said the force must remain independent of any political interference.

Ramli further asked Hishammuddin on why he’s giving excuses for not allowing the police to investigate ‘Copgate’.

NONE“Is it because the police have shown independence in announcing its recommendation on the National Feedlot Corporation affair (to charge the executive chairperson Mohamed Salleh Ismail (husband of Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil).

“What is Gani and Musa so afraid of, if they are as innocent as they claim to be?” he asked.

“I have said nothing for the past five years. My men and I have obtained vindication from the courts. My men and I are just asking for justice and the truth and for the redemption of our honour. Is that too much to ask for?”

On Friday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had also shot down calls for a tribunal against Gani, Musa and the ACA over the ‘Copgate’ affair.

Ramli, in an immediate response on Saturday following the PM’s announcement, said he and his men were dissapointed with the rejection as they had acted under Cabinet’s orders to curb the Ah Long menace in nabbing underworld kingpin Goh Cheng Poh.

Tribunal versus RCI

So far Malaysiakini has sought confirmation and official response from Gani, Musa, former deputy home minister Johari Baharom and the MACC.

Only Musa responded by only saying “asks the AG”. Upon further reports being published, Musa claimed to the media that he had been cleared by the MACC.

Malaysiakini has also received many comments relating to the difference between a tribunal and a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

A tribunal can be held to investigate and decide whether there is sufficient evidence to remove a sitting judge or an attorney-general from holding public office for misconduct.
The AG holds the rank similar to a Federal Court judge.

The power to set up a tribunal rests with the prime minister and he can determine the scope of its investigations.

Throughout Malaysia’s history there was only one tribunal - that is against former Lord President Salleh Abas and the four judges of the Supreme Court.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry is appointed by the Agong, and it can investigate on any matter, such as the Teoh Beng Hock, the Lingam video tapes, the ‘black eye’ incident, and the nude squat saga.

It can only provide recommendations and make findings but cannot take any punitive action.

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