Wednesday 21 November 2012

Nazri: Not true that M'sia didn't cooperate with ICAC

Claims that Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had closed the case on the RM40 million donation which was allegedly going to be smuggled into Malaysia, due to non-cooperation by Malaysian authorities are “not true”, said cabinet minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

NONEThe minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that this is not the case as corruption is a cross-border matter and that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) works “very closely” with ICAC.

“There is no truth is the allegation that there was no cooperation from the MACC. They cannot not cooperate. They need to fully cooperate as they never know when they will need (ICAC’s) help,” he told reporters in Parliament today.

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report claimed that attorney-general Gani Patail (right) “refused inter-country cooperation to the ICAC, thereby causing the Hong Kong investigation to lapse when the three-year time limit ran out in 2011".

"Don't listen to people. They have no facts backing them and just cast aspersions. Don't take what people say seriously unless the body (ICAC) itself says it," he said.

Up to HK to reopen case
The minister also said that it is up to the Hong Kong authorities whether to re-open the case involving businessman Micheal Chia.

Mohd Nazri's son was recently alleged to be driving around a luxury vehicle belonging to Chia-a charge the minister said reflects no conflict of interest.

Mohd Nazri had told Parliament last month that the case was closed and that the RM40 million was actually a political donation to Sabah Umno.

The minister's comments today follows a statement from Hong Kong director of public prosecutions Kevin Zervos saying that his office would be willing to revisit the case.

Free Malaysia Today reported that Zervos said his office and the ICAC would welcome fresh evidence.

"In relation to this case, it was more of a jurisdictional matter...Material that was obtained from Malaysia was that it was a political donation. If anything comes up now to show that this wasn't the case, the matter would definitely be looked into," he was quoted as saying.

He told FMT that the Hong Kong authorities "didn't have additional evidence that was forthcoming" to continue with the probe but declined to comment if this meant Malaysia did not co-operate.

Scorpene inquiry briefing called off

Separately, Mohd Nazri said he had no issues with the lawyers representing Suaram in the civil case in France on the Malaysian purchase of submarines, brief parliamentarians.

The briefing was initially planned in Parliament for tomorrow, but it has been cancelled.

PKR's Subang MP R Sivarasa who is coordinating the event is expected to hold a press conference on the matter tomorrow.

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