Saturday 7 April 2012

Bar Council to AG: Explain ‘no action’

The Bar Council, which played an active role in the RCI into Teoh Beng Hock's death, has expressed disappointment with the decision to clear the three MACC officers implicated.

PETALING JAYA: The attorney-geeneral must clarify the decision to clear three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers implicated in the death of former political aide Teoh Beng Hock by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI).

Bar Council vice-president Christopher Leong said the A-G Abdul Gani Patail should also explain to the public in detail why such a decision was made.

“I note that the information came from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, perhaps the attorney-general himself can directly clarify the decision. Explain in more detail why the decision was made,” said Leong, who was the lead lawyer representing the Bar during the RCI.

“This is another disappointment in a long list of disappointments in this case; not only for the family of Teoh Beng Hock but also for all concerned members of the public,” he added.

Leong said that throughout the lengthy investigations by the RCI, there was “ample evidence” of illegal conduct by MACC officers, and action should have been taken.

“The RCI had uncovered ample evidence of wrongful and unlawful conduct on the part of the MACC officers. The findings of the RCI on such evidence are clear,” he added.

He said that even if the A-G was hesitant with charging the three men named for culpable homicide, at the very least there was enough evidence to bring about a case of giving false testimony in court and fabricating evidence to be used in court.

“The RCI found that the relevant MACC officers had lied to the RCI, or had fabricated evidence. At the minimum, these MACC officers should be charged under Section 191 or 192 of the Penal Code,” he added.

(Section 191 is the offence of “giving false evidence” while Section 192 deals with “fabricating false evidence”).

‘No respect for RCIs’

Meanwhile, former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim said that the A-G does not respect RCIs.
“What happened to the recommendations? Gani doesn’t care a damn about the RCI commissioners nor has he any respect for them in spite of him knowing they were appointed by the Agong,” he wrote in a letter to The Malaysian Insider.
Mat Zain said this was the second time Gani has failed to act on recommendations by a commission of inquiry, the first being the failure to act on a previous RCI in 2007 probing allegations that appointments of judges were fixed.

Teoh, 30, was the political aide of Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah. He was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by the MACC officers on the 14th floor.

The five-man RCI panel, headed by then federal court judge James Foong, had singled out the three officers who were involved in the interrogations. They were Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim and his subordinates Mohd Anuar Ismail and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus.

Contrary to the RCI report which named the three men, the Bar Council – which actively participated in the RCI – had recommended that five MACC officers be investigated for culpable homicide.

The five officers include Hishamuddin, Mohd Anuar and Mohd Ashraf as well as Selangor MACC investigations chief, Hairul Ilham Hamzah, and Klang MACC assistant enforcement officer Zulkefly Aziz.
The Bar had recommended that the five be investigated under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing the death of Teoh via negligence.

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