Malaysian Bar president George Varughese said the professional body of lawyers is troubled by the 1MDB special taskforce's announcement that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak had been arrested.
"The Malaysian Bar is shocked and troubled by the press statement issued today by the 1MDB taskforce announcing that Najib was arrested at 2.35pm in connection with SRC International Sdn Bhd, and that the former prime minister will be charged in court tomorrow at 8.30am.
"The taskforce has no legal standing to arrest Najib. Any arrest can only be effected either by the MACC or the police.
"The taskforce is also not in a position to decide whether or not Najib will be charged and or when he is to be charged," Varughese said in a statement today.
The special taskforce comprises MACC chief Mohd Shukri Abdull, former MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed, former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and former Bukit Aman police special branch deputy chief Abdul Hamid Bador.
Varughese said the move by the 1MDB special taskforce raised a number of questions.
"Is the taskforce legally empowered to order the arrest of Najib? And is the taskforce legally empowered to charge Najib?" he said.
Najib was picked up this afternoon by the MACC at his Jalan Langgak Duta residence in Kuala Lumpur.
Subsequently, the 1MDB special taskforce confirmed Najib's arrest.