Bar submits all are equal before the law, including Najib and Apandi

Bar submits all are equal before the law, including Najib and Apandi

All are equal before the law under the Federal Constitution and that includes Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, the Malaysian Bar told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

As such, they should be held accountable under the law, it said when submitting in the judicial review application against the AG’s decision to clear the prime minister over 1MDB.

Before Justice Hanipah Farikullah, the Bar further stated that 1MDB involves taxpayers’ money and backed by government guarantees.

For this reason, the Bar said it has an interest to challenge the decision made by the AG due to the magnitude of the 1MDB scandal “involving public funds which are unparalleled and unheard-of in the country”.

They submitted that Najib could have acted in conflict of interest as he is also the finance minister and the chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.

The Bar pointed out that Apandi could also have acted in conflict when he decided to clear Najib since it was him who advised Najib not to give answers in Parliament.

It was also the case when the AG acted as an adviser to Najib and the government and at the same time performing his duties as the public prosecutor in deciding whether to institute criminal proceedings against the PM, they submitted.

“The AG also acted beyond his jurisdiction when he directed the three investigation papers submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be closed. The AG had wrongfully encroached the MACC’s statutory powers which is a matter of public concern and relevant to the administration of justice.

“There is also a question whether the AG had acted in excess of his powers in clearing the PM in the commission of an offence in relation to the RM2.6 billion, and the flow of RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd into PM’s personal account,” they said.

Lawyers for the Malaysian Bar also asked whether Najib had returned the RM42 million in question.

Following the United States Department of Justice’s forfeiture lawsuits over 1MDB, the Bar further contended that the US was not the only country investigating the matter.

“The investigations by foreign agencies in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg are also unparalleled and unheard-of.

“The reported 1MDB problem is a case of massive and blatant wrongdoing and it has a terrible reflection on Malaysia,” lawyers told the court.

They said for these reasons, the court should grant them leave (permission) so that a full judicial review application can be heard on merits.

The Bar’s bid is the third application to challenge the AG’s decision.

Prior to this, the court had separately heard submissions from lawyers representing former minister Zaid Ibrahim and former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan, for a similar challenge against Apandi’s decision not to charge Najib.

Bar submits all are equal before the law, including Najib and Apandi
25 Aug 2016 – malaysiakini


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