Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor said the MACC’s live broadcasting of audio recordings purportedly of conversations between former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and several other individuals related to the 1MDB and SRC International Bhd cases were “improper” and “unprecedented”.
Abdul Fareed (photo) said it would invite a trial by media even before investigations are carried out.
“The manner of the disclosure is unwarranted and has given rise to various allegations against the MACC, including allegations of contempt, sub judice, a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and a withering of the rule of law.
“The MACC should instead have informed the public of the existence of such audio recordings and let the relevant authorities carry out their investigation.
“It was even reported that the MACC chief commissioner had gone to the extent of commenting on the veracity of the authenticity of the recording, which should be the role of the courts to determine if charged in court,” he said.
However, Abdul Fareed stressed that the Malaysian Bar is also urging for a thorough investigation of the revelations which he described as “grave in nature and concern matters of public importance and public interest.”
“The rule of law is upheld when the principles of transparency, accountability, good governance and the public interest are guarded,” he said.
Yesterday, the MACC had released audio recordings of several telephone conversations involving Najib and those related to the 1MDB scandal.
Among them were calls between him and former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad.
Others included conversations between Najib and high-ranking individuals from the United Arab Emirates, concerning the US Department of Justice's 1MDB civil forfeiture suits and funds channelled to Najib's stepson Riza Aziz.
There was also a recording of a conversation between Najib and his irate wife Rosmah Mansor.
Najib, who was met by journalists in court after the disclosure was made by the MACC, said he was shocked and his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said they were mulling legal action.