By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
November 24, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — The Najib administration has instructed two Cabinet ministers to question Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail over his alleged involvement in the infamous 1998 “black-eye incident” involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Malaysian Insider understands that the Cabinet’s decision came after former police officer Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim claimed to have new information on the 12-year-old case that implicated Abdul Gani, the current Attorney-General.
“I’ve now been instructed (as a result of the Cabinet meeting), Datuk Rais (Minister of Information, Communications and Culture) and myself, to meet and speak to the Attorney-General and we are now waiting for him to come back from Mekah,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz told The Malaysian Insider today.
Mat Zain, the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief, had, in an open letter on Monday to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, called for a full closure of the alleged police assault on Anwar, volunteering information that could “restore” police image and credibility.
Nazri said Cabinet wanted to hear what Abdul Gani had to say before taking action.
“We want to hear from the Attorney-General (regarding the contents of the open letter),” he said.
“This is a serious matter. If he (Mat Zain) is telling the truth, we would have to go into the details… but until then, there is no decision yet.”
In a statement yesterday, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said he had met Nazri on the matter.
Nazri, who is minister in charge of Parliament, had told Parliament two weeks ago that he would refer the claims against the A-G to the Cabinet as soon as possible after the Dewan Rakyat rejected Lim’s motion to deduct RM10 from Abdul Gani’s salary for “failure to discharge his duties”.
“I said to him (Lim) that I would bring this matter up to the Cabinet two Fridays ago, which I did, with the support of Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim,” Nazri (left) said.
Mat Zain, the policeman who investigated the assault on Anwar, claimed that an independent panel that cleared Abdul Gani and former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan of fabricating evidence in the incident was unconstitutional.
In his statement, Mat Zain accused the country’s top lawyer of deceiving Cabinet over the independent panel.
He said there was no need for any royal commission of inquiry on the matter as the police were capable of resolving the case themselves.
Mat Zain also revealed that there had been an agreement between former IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor, former Deputy IGP Tan Sri Norian Mai as well as Mat Zain on October 8, 1998, at 2.30pm that there would be “complete closure” to the black-eye case.
“It is important that I note that Rahim Noor was ready to take full responsibility in the black-eye incident, and his decision was made of his own accord,” said Mat Zain. “The closure of the case had been agreed to be done professionally, above board.”
Mat Zain said that Rahim was prepared to step down after the closure of the black-eye incident.
“But I found out that about 5-5.30pm on the same day, Allahyarham (the late) Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, along with the then Datuk Abdul Gani Patail (now Tan Sri), had met with Rahim Noor at his office. At 6pm, I was then told by Tan Sri Norian to ‘continue investigations like normal’.
“I then understood that the agreement that we had reached mere hours ago had been cancelled. I was shocked and upset, but who was I to say anything at the time,” said Mat Zain.
The former policeman also accused Abdul Gani of falsifying testimonies relating to the black-eye incident.
He said the longer the case remained unresolved, the longer innocent officers would be accused of being involved in a cover-up of the case.
In July 2008, Anwar filed a police report accusing Abdul Gani, Mat Zain, Musa (then a senior investigation officer in 1998) and Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof of falsifying a medical report on his black-eye case.
Rahim, the IGP in 1998, had admitted he assaulted Anwar following a royal commission of inquiry probe in 1999.