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Monday, August 7, 2017

Dr M's lawyers want to quiz, cross examine RCI witnesses

Dr Mahathir Mohamad's lawyers want to actively participate in the Royal Commission of Inquiry's (RCI) proceedings with regard to the Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) losses, which commences tomorrow.
According to lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla, this includes conducting necessary examination and cross examination of the witnesses.
In a message to Malaysiakini, he said Mahathir's legal team has written a letter dated today to the commission's secretary Yusuf Ismail, which has been served to the latter's office in the Ministry of Finance.
Haniff said the letter also seeks to exercise Mahathir's right to appear throughout the proceedings through his counsels.
“We shall attend the RCI tomorrow scheduled at the Court of Appeal premises in the Palace of Justice (in Putrajaya) and address the RCI panel on this issue.
“The letter is written pursuant to Section 18 of the RCI Act,” he added.
The RCI, which was set up on July 15 in accordance with the Commission of Enquiry Act 1950 (Act 119), has been given three months to submit a report to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Among others, the commission will determine the veracity of the allegations surrounding the forex losses, including if it contravened the Central Bank Ordinance 1958 or any other law.
The commission is also tasked with determining if there were attempts to mislead Parliament and the cabinet on the losses, which occurred in the late 1980s when Mahathir was prime minister.
The RCI will also recommend the actions to be taken against those found to be directly or indirectly involved in the scandal.
The commission is chaired by Petronas chairperson and former chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan.

He is assisted by High Court judge Kamaludin Md Said, Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Tajuddin Atan, Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) co-chairperson Saw Choo Boon, Malaysian Institute of Accountants member K Puspanathan, and Yusuf, who is the Finance Ministry's strategic investment division director.
Jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang are among those expected to testify in the proceedings.
Mahathir's supporters have accused Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of deliberately dredging up an old issue to deflect attention from the current 1MDB scandal. - Mkini

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