Tuesday 7 August 2012

Mat Zain: Only a tribunal can remove attorney-general

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's deputy chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull's statement that the MACC once formed a panel to investigate the attorney-general has brought scorn and contempt upon him.

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim questioned the MACC's power to appoint a panel to investigate allegations made against the attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.

NONEMat Zain told Malaysiakini today he was taken aback by Shukri's response yesterday.

Asked whether the graft body could take action action against a sitting AG, Shukri (left) had said the MACC had had once formed a three-member panel to probe the AG over Anwar Ibrahim's black eye-incident.

Mat Zain said the Attorney-General's Chambers itself had no right or power to appoint such a panel, especially where a sitting AG was concerned.

"The only person who can appoint a panel called a 'tribunal' to adjudicate the conduct of an AG is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as stated under Article 125 (3) of the Federal Constitution and read together with Article 145(6). And this must only be upon the advice of the prime minister," Mat Zain said.

"If now the MACC says it has appointed a panel to adjudicate the AG's conduct, then it must be very daring enough to usurp the Agong's powers and rights. How could that be? 

NONE"It is ridiculous. The MACC has no power to institute, conduct or discontinue a criminal proceeding against any person like the AG. How can it have the powers to appoint a panel to probe Gani?" he asked. 

Mat Zain and former Commercial Crime Investigations Department director Ramli Yusuff have been calling for a tribunal to investigate the various allegations of corruption and abuse of power made against Gani. Ramli's complaint against the AG was on theCopgate issue. 

The former Kuala Lumpur CID chief was commenting on MACC's probe into the Ho Hup Construction Bhd affair Gani is said to be linked with.
MACC said it is independent in the probe and that it could also appoint a panel to look into it.

In the Ho Hup case, Gani is said to have favoured the company's former executive deputy chairperson Vincent Lye, who hails from Sabah, and in return is alleged to have received RM18,000 for the renovation of a bungalow in Seremban. 

MACC's Shukri also said the MACC Operations Review Panel headed by former auditor-general Hadenan Abdul Jalil was "independent and stern in its views" and had in the past called for the reopening of cases that had been closed, leading to some persons accused being prosecuted.

Can Operations Review Panel overrule AG?

Mat Zain said he does not question the integrity or the ability of the review panel members.

"The question is not whether they are thorough and stern or not. The question is whether they are empowered to make a decision to overrule the AG, or for that matter the MACC. They don't have the power to overrule the AG, whether under the MACC law or any other law," he said.

Shukri had admitted that in the end, the findings of any investigation would have to be sent to the attorney-general or a deputy public prosecutor for action.

NONEThe former managing director of construction giant Ho Hup, Low Tuck Choy, said last Saturday the MACC was only interested in uncovering who had leaked documents that implicated Gani in allegations of abuse of power and graft. 

Low had said that the documents containing an invoice from an electrical company, which carried out renovation works on the Seremban bungalow, a payment voucher with Gani's name on it and the cheque were genuine documents and he and the company knew who had signed the cheque.  

MACC wants more evidence

MACC asked Low, who has lodged a police report over the lack of progress in the probe following Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department VK Liew's response, to come forward if he had more vidence to help in the probe.
Mat Zain is also striving to clear his name in Anwar Ibrahim's report on fabrication of evidence in the"black-eye probe" filed against Gani, former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctor Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof and Mat Zain himself.

Mat Zain said the investigations into Anwar's complaint were carried under Section 15 of Anti-Corruption Act 1997, which concerns the use of one's office for gratification.

He said the ACA Act used by the MACC had no bearing or relevance at all to an offence under Section 192 of the Penal Code, which is on the fabrication of evidence. 

"The ingredients to be proven under Section 192 of the Penal Code for the fabrication of evidence are different from that of Section 15 of the ACA Act. This in itself shows the MACC clearly distracted the issue of Anwar's complaint on fabrication of evidence in his black-eye case.

"Investigating Anwar's report under Section 15 means that the MACC did not actually investigate the fabrication of evidence as reported," he said.

A three-member panel headed by former Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman cleared Gani and Musa of any wrongdoing in a majority decision.

Musa, who was the investigating officer in the Sodomy I case against Anwar, had in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini admitted that he took Anwar's blood sample during the black-eye incident.

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