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MACC denies threatening witnesses in Tabung Haji senior official probe
Published:  Dec 20, 2018 2:02 AM
Updated: 4:02 AM

MACC has denied accusations that it "turned a blind eye" towards evidence in its probe against a senior Tabung Haji official.

In a statement today, the graftbuster also denied threatening witnesses in order to make them produce false statements against the suspect. 

"(MACC) would like to stress that we always adopt a professional attitude and observe the rule of law in our investigations without being influenced by any party. 

"The arrest and detention by MACC is meant to assist a probe based on concrete evidence," said MACC in a statement today. 

"MACC always follows the standard operating procedures, rules and laws when conducting its investigations in a transparent, independent and professional manner," said MACC. 

Tabung Haji has come under the spotlight in recent weeks, after independent auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that it had previously cooked its books in an attempt to justify dividend payments to depositors.

A top Lembaga Tabung Haji executive was nabbed on Dec 18 for allegedly misusing the services of an interior design firm to build wardrobes in his home. The interior design firm is a Tabung Haji subsidiary. 

Yesterday, lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam, who acted for the senior Tabung Haji official, claimed media reports had allegedly depicted his client as a devious individual. 

The lawyer claimed that "hidden hands" were involved in the case to implicate his client. 

He said his client had submitted all relevant evidence to the MACC, including the quotes given by the contractor, as well as all details of discussions between the client and contractor of the house renovation.

“However, the MACC was instructed to turn a ‘blind eye’ to all the evidence. The investigation was done to establish a claim that my client allegedly obtained free services from a Tabung Haji contractor due to his position.

“All the witnesses were threatened in order to provide false statements against my client. We have the necessary documentation to prove our client’s innocence,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

“You can bully us when you’re in power. But you won’t know what the future holds, whether you’ll be able to retain that power," he warned in his statement.

The issuing of a statement by any party or individual linked to an ongoing probe could affect the investigation process, said MACC.

The agency added that it was almost as if such statements were an attempt to “force MACC to reveal details of the case to the public”.

However, MACC said it would not reveal any information and will submit its investigation paper to the Attorney-General's Chambers, who is also the public prosecutor.

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