NEWS

Bar: Cops vs MACC seen as attempt to block truth

Published
Modified 7 Aug 2015, 11:03 am

The Malaysian Bar has criticised the ongoing police investigation into the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC).

This, and the allegation of a plot to topple the government, said Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru, "could be seen as a thinly-disguised attempt to block the truth from emerging."

"Moreover, the investigation into allegations of leaking of confidential information and the purported breach of Section 124B of the Penal Code are not a carte blanche for the police to intrude into and interfere with, MACC's investigation and or to remove or compromise vital evidence collated by MACC.

"It must be borne in mind that interfering with or obstructing an ongoing MACC investigation is in itself an offence under Section 48 of the MACC Act 2009," he added in a statement.

Thiru ( photo ) was referring to the hurdles faced by the MACC in investigating SRC International which reportedly deposited RM42 million into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts.

MACC was part of the special task force that was looking at a total of RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank account, said to be 'donations'.

The task force, comprising the police, Bank Negara and the Attorney-General's Chambers, had since been disbanded after attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail was sacked and replaced with Mohamed Apandi Ali.

The MACC which had vowed to press on alone and have since had several of its investigators arrested and their homes and offices raided.

Several top MACC officials have been questioned including its special operations division director Bahri Mohamad Zain, special operations division deputy director Tan Kang Sai, forensic division director IG Chandran and special operations division officer Tuan Roslan Tuan Mat.

'MACC should arrest police'

Thiru said police actions raise fear that there are strong forces at work to curtail the MACC's efforts.

"Astoundingly, at this critical time, MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed is on leave," he said.

Thiru said these developments were 'wholly inconsistent with the government's publicly declared aim to uncover the unvarnished truth'.

"The actions by the police, which have the appearance of an assault on the MACC, have seemingly caused irreparable harm to the standing of MACC as an agency to combat corruption," he said.

Meanwhile, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng ( photo ) urged the MACC to arrest police officers  who interfered with its investigation.

"If the police continue their series of arrests and interference against the MACC, I would like to invite the public to make reports at MACC offices nationwide to urge MACC to use its powers under Section 48 of the MACC Act to arrest the police officers involved as it is a crime to interfere in MACC investigations," he said in a statement.

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