Wednesday 21 November 2012

‘HK chief prosecutor’s statement damning’

Kevin Zervos has indicated that there was a conspiracy to cover up the RM40 million "political donations" case by Malaysian authorities, says PKR's strategic director.

PETALING JAYA: The statement yesterday by Hong Kong’s chief public prosecutor points to a conspiracy by Malaysian authorities to cover up and halt investigations against Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and timber tycoon Michael Chia over the RM40 million “political donations” case, claimed PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli today.

Rafizi said it also gives an impression that the Malaysian authorities – either the Attorney-General’s chambers, the MACC or both – had supplied inaccurate information to Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and in turn had tarnished the investigations.

Rafazi was referring to FMT’s exclusive interview with Hong Kong’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kevin Zervos, who yesterday said that Hong Kong authorities were ready to re-open the case if there was fresh evidence.

Zervos said that previous evidence ICAC received from Malaysia indicated that the funds were “political donation”, but expressed openness in delving into the “true nature” of the money.

“When it was the Malaysian authorities who told the ICAC that the fund was a political donation, it confirms rumours that the ICAC was forced to halt investigations because they were unable to get full cooperation of Malaysian authorities,” alleged Rafizi in a statement.

“Furthermore, the statement by Zervos is more serious as it gives the impression that Malaysian authorities, either the MACC, AG’s chambers or both are conspiring to stop investigations against Musa and Chia by giving inaccurate information, without a transparent and independent investigation.”

Rafizi said that he also concluded from Zervos’s statement that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz was not forthright in Parliament when he said that the ICAC had halted investigations because Hong Kong authorities had found that the money was political contributions to Sabah Umno.

“Nazri never told Parliament that the ICAC had to stop investigations because Malaysian authorities had informed them that the RM40 million was a political donation,” he said.

MACC must reveal the truth

Rafizi said he was sure the Malaysian authorities never handed proof or evidence that the RM40 million was a political contribution obtained legally.

He urged Parliament to consider taking action against Nazri for what can be considered an attempt to mislead the House.

“He implied that the RM40 million in political donation to Umno was a conclusion of ICAC and not supplied by Malaysian authorities,” said Rafizi.

He also demanded that MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed reveal the truth to Parliament.
“I welcome the Hong Kong chief prosecutor’s statement that he is willing to reopen the case. PKR will gather such evidences so that an investigation can be started by the ICAC.”

Yesterday, Rafizi said he would be travelling to Hong Kong meet with the ICAC Operations Review Committee as well as politicians there. He will be accompanied by PKR MPs William Leong (Selayang) and Hee Loy Sian (Petaling Jaya Selatan) and state assemblyman Chang Li Kang (Teja).

The trip is to find out if the Malaysian government stonewalled ICAC’s investigation of timber tycoon Chia, who was carrying the RM40 million, and to seek a re-opening of the 2008 case.

Letters with Sabah BN

According to news reports, Chia, a Sabah businessman was arrested at Hong Kong airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle out Singapore currency worth RM40 million. He reportedly told ICAC that the money was meant for Musa.

In October this year, Nazri told Parliament that the money was political funding for Sabah Umno. He announced that both Hong Kong and Malaysian authorities had closed the case.

Nazri disputed reports about the case, saying Chia was never arrested by the ICAC. He also said the RM40 million seized from him was wired into an account in Hong Kong and was not in the businessman’s possession.

Previously, Sarawak Report alleged that ICAC’s investigation had been dropped after three years because of a lack of cooperation by the Malaysian government.

It also reported that leaked MACC files revealed that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had shelved files on the investigations and refused to prosecute Musa.

Meanwhile, Sabah BN secretary Abdul Rahman Dahlan today told The Malaysian Insider that he has in his possession official correspondence from the ICAC that proves that the authority had closed the case on their own accord.

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