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10 APRIL 2024

Friday, October 28, 2016

Apandi confirms he received Swiss OAG's request on 1MDB

Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali confirms that his office has received the request from Switzerland's Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) under the Mutual Legal Assistance in the alleged embezzlement and money laundering involving 1MDB.
This was the Swiss OAG's second MLA request to Malaysia, after the AG's Chambers claimed it did not received the first application.
Speaking to reporters after being appointed Universiti Utara Malaysia adjunct professor in Kuala Lumpur today, Apandi said he would reply accordingly.
"We have received and it is in the process for us to reply," he said, without indicating the deadline to fulfil the Swiss' request.
A MLA is an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public laws or criminal laws.
It was reported on Oct 5, that the Swiss OAG had sent the second MLA request to Malaysia. The Swiss are investigating breaches of rules in the Swiss financial sector.
The case involved SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary which is now wholly-owned by Finance Ministry Inc.
Previously, the Swiss authorities had claimed that there was no response to the first MLA request to which the AG's Chambers said there was none. 
Apart from the Swiss, 1MDB is also the subject of investigations in the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Hong Kong and Luxembourg. 
No response to Dr M
Meanwhile, Apandi refused to comment on former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest blog posting that accused the former of wrongfully protecting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
"I don't know, I cannot comment on what he said as I did not hear."
When told it was a blog posting, Apandi said he did not read it.
"So the best thing is no comment lah," he said.
Mahathir's blog post had accused the "public prosecutor" of obstructing efforts to charge Najib in court.
"The public prosecutor hid the reports so that Najib’s case will not be heard in court. The public prosecutor acted like the judge and decided that there is no case against Najib based on the reports he received.
"What is clear is Najib was not found not guilty by the courts but that a trial could not be held as it was blocked by the public prosecutor," Mahathir had wrote.
'I don't make decisions alone'
During a question and answer session earlier, Apandi was asked why the he does not entertain representation requests from an accused person to reduce or drop a charge, to which he replied that he does not make decisions alone.
"Besides me, there is a committee that comprises the head of prosecution and the deputy. We also called in the respective departments or agencies. For example, if it involves the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, we will call them or other relevant agencies.
"It is not a free-wheeling committee but what is important is that I am not alone as we hold discussions. This is my practice, that is better to have more heads than one.

"This is based on my training when I was a judge. A panel of three is better than one," Apandi who was a Federal Court judge said, adding he cannot comment on the practices of his predecessor.
He said there are times when he accepted the representation request and there are those he had rejected unlike previously, where he was made to understand that such requests were rejected outright.
"It is easier for us to make a consideration if you give suggestions in your representation, for example having your client agreeing to plead guilty, then we will make a consideration,” he said.- Mkini

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