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Friday, January 6, 2017

Does AG have power to indemnify PM, asks Mat Zain



Former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief Mat Zain Ibrahim has questioned whether attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali has the power to indemnify anyone against criminal action.
This follows a 2011 statement when then de facto law minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told Parliament that the AG had no power to indemnify any person against criminal action based on political considerations.
Hence, Mat Zain questioned how Apandi could clear prime minister Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing with regard to the 1MDB and SRC International cases in January last year.
“The issue here is if in 2011 Nazri who spoke as a minister in Najib's cabinet confirmed that the AG had no powers to indemnify anyone on political grounds then, where did Apandi obtain his authority or powers to indemnify Najib of any wrongdoing regarding the RM2.6 billion “donations” and SRC.
Nazri was then responding to a question from DAP MP Lim Kit Siang over an open letter by Mat Zain who posed a question with regard to RM40 million found in several bank accounts of then Malacca chief minister Rahim Tamby Chik allegedly through abuse of power and corrupt practices that was investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency.
Mat Zain said now the country faced a similar situation where RM42 million from SRC was found in Najib's personal account.
Apandi, he added, had subsequently declared Najib committed no crime.
When Nazri issued the statement in Parliament six years ago, neither did the then AG Abdul Gani Patail or members of Najib's cabinet challenge his (Nazri's) statement as incorrect.
This, the former top cop said, was despite Sections 409, 409A and 409B of the Penal Code clearly showed that Najib could be charged for criminal breach of trust.
“Section 409A itself stated that it is no defence even if the property or cash was openly appropriated or that the appropriation was duly recorded and entered in the books and accounts of any company or association or body of person whether incorporated or not,” he said.
Mat Zain said he had previously warned that Apandi would be in a position of conflict of interest situation if he were to make any decision on allegations against Najib, let alone clear the PM from any wrongdoing.
“This is through the evidence that is already available in public domain,” he said.
Have RCI for 1MDB
Mat Zain said he maintained his call for a royal commission of inquiry with regard to the 1MDB and SRC matter.
This is in light of the Conference of Rulers that had also pointed their concern over 1MDB in 2015.
“I still maintain my call for an RCI to be established. The AG's Chambers, MACC and the police have all tainted themselves... and on their own doings and undoings.
"The public have lost confidence in them investigating any matters if connected to the PM or his family members or close associates, especially Jho Low (Low Taek Jho),” he said.
It was reported last month that Mat Zain had also lodged a police report against the present AG for abuse of power alleging his chambers directed no further action on a police report he lodged earlier based on the Department of Justice action filed in July last year.- Mkini

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