Lawyer: Police duty bound to probe RM9.5 million bank transfer
Asking whether police have classified the case under ‘seizable’ or ‘non-seizable’ offence, lawyer S N Nair says the IGP cannot simply state he won’t investigate the case.
PETALING JAYA: Police must clarify whether they have classified reports lodged following an allegation that an ad-hoc prosecutor received RM9.5 million from the prime minister’s personal bank account, a lawyer said.
S N Nair said police must investigate if the reports had been classified as “seizable offence” under any criminal law, including those offences in the Penal Code.
However, he said, if the reports had been classified under “non-seizable offence”, then the police should have obtained an order to investigate (OTI) from the attorney-general as it was a public interest case.
Alternatively, Nair said, the AG could direct the police to show the reports to him and then issue the OTI, as provided under the Criminal Procedure Code.
“So police must reveal whether they have classified the reports made two weeks ago. They cannot give excuses that they cannot or will not investigate,” he told FMT.
Nair said this in response to Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s reluctance to start investigations into at least three reports lodged by politicians, following the publication of the allegation by Sarawak Report.
The top cop said the report was merely hearsay and he refused to guarantee safe passage to Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown to come to Malaysia and give her statement.
Nair, a former police officer, said generally police could arrest without warrant and exercise all their investigation powers over any seizable offence, without the sanction of the AG.
“This includes, taking of statements, conducting raids and seizure of items,” he added.
However, for non-seizable offences, the police could only investigate after obtaining the sanction (OTI) of the AG.
The whistleblower website had alleged that the money had been wired into lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s account from the prime minister’s bank account.
The report said that the RM9.5 million was made out in two payments, on September 2013 and February 2014.
On June 9, asked about the allegation, Shafee had told FMT: “I will issue a statement, but not today.”
Shafee, who was appointed ad-hoc prosecutor in July 2013, secured the conviction of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy in the Court of Appeal in March the following year.
The Federal Court affirmed the conviction and the five year jail term in 2015.
In 2012, the High Court, after a lengthy trial, acquitted Anwar of the sexual misconduct crime which led the government to file an appeal.