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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hasanah asks court to declare questioning by MACC unlawful

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyers for former intelligence chief Hasanah Ab Hamid, saying she has been denied the right to consult her counsel, have filed court action seeking a declaration that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) detention and questioning of Hasanah is unlawful.
In a press statement today, lawyer Shaharudin Ali confirmed they had filed action at the Kuala Lumpur High Court seeking a declaration that Section 28A(8) and (9) of the Criminal Procedure Code, under which she is being held, is ultra vires the Federal Constitution. Oral arguments are expected to take place on Monday, he added.
Hasanah wants the court to declare that as the section is against the constitution, the MACC’s questioning of her is in violation of the law.
Shaharudin said invoking Section 28A(8) and (9) “works wonders” as it blocked Hasanah from consulting her lawyers during the remand period.
“Effectively, this means that for five days she would be under interrogation, her lawyers would not be around to advice and to consult her.
“The next day, today that is, we see SPRM (the Malay abbreviation for MACC) issuing a lot of statements adverse to our client. Some of these statements were picked up by the press. While SPRM is free to spray around damaging statements about Hasanah, we were not allowed to assist her or even to obtain her instructions and respond accordingly. So much of the rule of law.”
Section 28A(8) and (9) of the Criminal Procedure Code states that the investigating authorities can deny anyone a lawyer if, among other things, they suspect that it will result in an accomplice escaping, or the intimidation of a witness, or the concealment, fabrication or destruction of evidence.
Hasanah was arrested on Tuesday night, reportedly in connection with alleged misappropriation of government funds for the May 9 general election.
A deputy director-general with a “Datuk” title and six administrative and diplomatic officers at the Prime Minister’s Department were earlier remanded for five days to assist in the investigation into the matter.
The MACC said earlier today that it had confiscated another US$4.07 million, this time from a Cyberjaya condominium, suspected to be linked to Hasanah. The MACC also said it was also looking at the possibility that the money was linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the scandal-plagued investment arm that is also being probed.
Hasanah entered the limelight after it was revealed that she had written a letter to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before the election, seeking support for the Barisan Nasional government. But the MACC said its investigations were not over the letter. -FMT

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