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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dr M, Anwar's lawyers seek list of witnesses for forex RCI

Lawyers representing Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the coalition's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim have confirmed that they are seeking to obtain the list of witnesses to be called by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara's foreign exchange losses.
"We are going to write to the commission to supply us the list of witnesses they propose to call," Anwar's lawyer R Sivarasa told Malaysiakini.
Sivarasa said he has also requested the commission to supply copies of documents that the conducting officer will present during the hearing. He also plans to repeat the request.
Asked on other relevant materials to be requested, Sivarasa said this was a start.
"Let's see whether they comply with this first," he said.
Mahathir's lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla also confirmed that he will be writing in, to the commission to obtain the witness list.
"We will write in for the list of witnesses and the documents. But that is not done yet because this is more important," he said.
Haniff was referring to the court orders filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on behalf of Mahathir yesterday.
Mahathir is seeking to compel the ongoing RCI to recuse two of its members. He is also seeking a court order to compel the federal government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke the appointment of both individuals.
A court order was also sought to postpone the RCI until the court case is disposed of.
At the RCI hearing on Tuesday, Sivarasa and Haniff argued against Mohd Sidek Hassan and Saw Choo Boon's membership in the six-member RCI panel.
They said that the duo was part of the cabinet's task force which recommended that the government establish the RCI, and therefore, their independence was compromised.
Meanwhile, on the issue or representation, Sivarasa noted that the panel's decision on it did not mean that the lawyers cannot cross-examine witnesses.
"They said I can ask questions but they said the limit of the questions will be determined by the relevancy.
"They didn't use the word cross-examine. In fact, we actually don't have to use the word cross-examine.
"For me, the phrase 'asking questions' is sufficient. We checked back with the other RCIs, they used the expression 'you can ask questions'," said Sivarasa.

The RCI has been tasked with determining the veracity of allegations surrounding the forex losses incurred by Bank Negara and its implications on the national economy.
It will also determine if Bank Negara's involvement in forex activities contravened the Central Bank Ordinance 1958 or other related laws.
Finally, the RCI will decide if whether there were attempts to conceal facts and
information regarding this as well as the issuance of statements which misled the cabinet, Parliament, and public.
The next RCI hearing is scheduled for Aug 21. - Mkini

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