Friday 19 October 2012

Government told to reopen assault probe on Nazri’s son

BY Clara Chooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — PKR today demanded the Home Ministry reopen the assault case involving Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Aziz’s son, saying it was an offence to “amicably resolve” a criminal matter.

Party vice-president N. Surendran accused Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein of showing “blatant disregard” for the country’s legal system for declaring the matter closed via such a settlement.

“It is unprecedented for the home minister to personally approve of such ‘amicable settlements’, which are against public policy and the rule of law.

“If a crime is committed, the perpetrator must be brought to court and duly charged. Under our legal system, crimes cannot be ‘amicably settled’,” Surendran (picture) said in a statement.

He added that such a settlement could amount to an offence under section 214 of the Penal Code and by approving the settlement, Hishammuddin may have abetted the allegedly illegal act.

“Was the investigation compromised simply because the case involves the son of a senior Umno minister?

“Further, what are the terms of this illegal settlement and did the settlement involve the police, Nazri Aziz or Hishammuddin?” Surendran asked.

The Home Ministry had confirmed on Wednesday that Nazri’s son Mohamad Nedim has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the assault of a condominium security guard earlier this year, saying that the case was “settled amicably” by both sides.

In a written reply to Loh Gwo-Burne (PKR-Kelana Jaya), the ministry said it was Mohamad Nedim’s former bodyguard who had assaulted the security guard in the March 20 incident and the matter has been investigated by the police.

“For the information of YB and this Dewan Rakyat, the assault of a security guard in March 2012 was actually the fault of Mohamad Nedim Nazri Aziz’s former bodyguard, and this case has been investigated under section 160 of the Penal Code.

“This case has been settled amicably by both parties,” the ministry had said.

Surendran, however, argued that the ministry’s reply was insufficient as it did not explain the outcome of the probe on Mohamad Nedim.

He pointed out that every citizen, regardless of social status, is equal before the law, saying that the assaulted security guard in this case has a right to impartial justice.

“We call upon the home minister to make a full and frank disclosure of the real facts of the case and to reopen the investigation into this assault case,” he said.

Earlier this year, opposition lawmakers had raised a hue and cry over the case involving Mohamad Nedim, accusing the authorities of covering up because of the man’s status as the son of a senior Cabinet minister.

At a press conference on April 9, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar was forced to urge the public to “trust” the police’s decision in the matter, pointing out that surveillance videos of the alleged scuffle at a plush Mont Kiara condominium had shown that Mohamad Nedim was innocent of wrongdoing.

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