Bar Council seeks lawyers’ nod to sue anyone blocking probe into 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation

The Malaysian Insider
9 September 2015

The Bar Council wants its members to give their mandate to take legal action against any person responsible for obstructing investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fiasco and the case of the RM2.6 billion “donation” channelled into the prime minister’s private accounts.

This is among the suggestions forwarded by president of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru, who will move the motion at its emergency general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Copies of the motion were sent to 16,000 lawyers in the peninsula yesterday.

A copy of the motion, sighted by The Malaysian Insider, also stated that the Bar mandates the council to take steps to affirm and preserve the rule of law, to uphold the Federal Constitution and to protect the administration of justice.

The motion would also discuss the abrupt removal of former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail from office.

It also calls for the government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe into allegations of financial impropriety concerning 1MDB, which has raked up debts of more than RM42 billion, and the transfer of RM2.6 billion into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts.

Putrajaya had said the RM2.6 billion was from a Middle-Eastern donor whose identity has not been revealed.

Also on the agenda is the crippling of the Public Accounts Committee, the harassment, intimidation and oppression of investigating officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara Malaysia and Special Branch who were in the special government task force investigating the 1MDB fiasco and the RM2.6 billion.

Steven said the EGM would be held in line with the objectives set out in Section 42 of the Legal Profession Act which stipulated that the Bar must uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interests or that of its members.

On July 28, Gani was removed from office and replaced by former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Gani was the task force chief investigating 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion.

On the same day, former Special Branch director Datuk Seri Akhil Bulat, who was nearing retirement but who was on leave, was replaced by Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Haron, the former Bukit Aman management department director.

Also transferred out of Special Branch was Akhil’s deputy, Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador, who was asked to report to a new security division in the Prime Minister’s Department.

On August 7, two MACC directors were transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect, but their transfers were rescinded after 48 hours due to public pressure.

Seven MACC officers were also called in for questioning by the police. The probe by MACC was in relation to SRC International over a RM4 billion loan from the government pension fund (KWAP) to 1MDB and the subsequent transfer of RM42 million into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The police have been probing MACC officers with regard to leaks from this investigation under Section 124B of the Penal Code for “activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, but this has sparked allegations of an attempt to thwart the commission’s probe.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz on August 13 revealed that seven officers were also questioned by police over information leaks related to the 1MDB probe.

On August 16, Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan was quoted in an English daily as saying that Najib had to “take out people” after a draft copy of an alleged charge sheet against him emerged.

Former officer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Jessica Gurmeet Kaur, who was recently arrested in connection with leaks into the 1MDB investigations, also had her contract terminated last month. – September 9, 2015.

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