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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Judge probe: June 23 hearing on application to refer questions of law


The Kuala Lumpur High Court has set June 23 to hear an application by two lawyers and an activist to refer to the Federal Court two questions of law regarding the MACC investigation against Court of Appeal judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Judge Noorin Badaruddin set the date during case management today attended by two counsels representing the three individuals and senior federal counsel Mazlifah Ayob, representing the defendants, namely MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, MACC and the government.

This is in reference to the originating summons filed by two lawyers, Nur Ain Mustapa and Sreekant Pillai and activist Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim to seek a declaration that the investigation conducted by MACC against Mohd Nazlan (above) is unconstitutional.

The two questions are whether criminal investigation bodies, including the MACC, are only legally permitted to investigate High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges who have been suspended under Article 125 (5) of the Federal Constitution and whether the public prosecutor is empowered to institute or conduct any proceedings for an offence against serving judges pursuant to Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

Meanwhile, Mazlifah when met by reporters said that the defendants had been given until June 2 to file affidavits to respond to the suit.

The court also ordered both parties to file written submissions on or before June 22.

In a suit filed on May 6, the three plaintiffs are seeking to declare that the MACC was not entitled to investigate serving judges unless they have been suspended or removed.

They also seek a declaration that a public prosecutor is not empowered to institute or conduct any proceedings for an offence against serving judges of a court and that investigations against judge Mohd Nazlan were unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the three plaintiffs through supporting affidavit filed with the originating summons said the media had reported that the commission had commenced a probe against Mohd Nazlan over allegations of unexplained money in his account following official reports lodged with it regarding the matter.

They claimed that the purported investigation is a violation by the executive branch of the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

Recently, Mohd Nazlan, who heard and convicted former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak concerning charges of misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, lodged a police report over news articles alleging that he was being investigated for unexplained money in his bank account.

A statement released by the Federal Court chief registrar's office on April 21 said Mohd Nazlan denied the false, baseless and malicious allegations aimed at undermining his credibility as a judge and disrupting the administration of criminal justice and the judiciary.


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