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Thursday, 16 February 2017

The High Court Rules No conflict of interest in A-G Apandi's decision not to charge PM Najib Razak

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High Court: No conflict of interest in A-G’s decision not to charge PM

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no conflict of interest in the Attorney-General’s (A-G) decision not to charge the Prime Minister for any criminal wrongdoing, a High Court has ruled.
Justice Hanipah Farikullah said Article 145(3) of the Federal Consti­tution gives the A-G very wide discretion over all criminal prosecutions.
“Not only may he institute and conduct any proceedings for an offence, he may also discontinue criminal proceedings that he has instituted, and the courts cannot compel him to institute any criminal proceedings, which he does not wish to institute or to go on with any criminal proceedings which he has decided to discontinue,” she said in her 42-page written judgment made available to the media yesterday.
Justice Hanipah said this in her written judgment for refusing a leave application made in February last year by former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy head Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.
Khairuddin wanted to initiate a judicial review proceedings over the decisions by the A-G over three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion (MACC) investigation papers, which included the RM2.6bil donation issue.
Khairuddin’s defence team had contended that the A-G was in a conflict of interest to decide whether to charge the Prime Minister over the 1MDB issue and its related cases, due to the A-G being appointed to his position by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong upon the advice of the Prime Minister.
Justice Hanipah said the court had also held that the A-G’s decision to institute criminal proceedings, or otherwise, was not justiciable or amenable to judicial review.
“It must be stressed that the A-G is expected to act honestly and without fear and favour.
“However, the avenue of the person being unhappy with his decision is elsewhere and not to the court,” she said.
Khairuddin, 55, had sought to set aside the decision made by the A-G that there was no criminal offence committed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over three investigation papers by MACC and the directive to close investigations.
The A-G also decided that there was no need for Malaysia to request foreign countries to legally assist in this issue.
Khairuddin and his lawyer Matthias Chang were charged at a magistrate’s court on Oct 12, 2015, for allegedly attempting to sabotage the banking and financial services in the country, which is an offence under Section 124L of the Penal Code.
The A-G’s Chambers found that no criminal offence was committed by Najib in relation to SRC International Sdn Bhd and the alleged RM2.6bil donation.
SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB until it was taken over by the Finance Ministry in February 2012.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/16/khairuddin-fails-in-court-bid-high-court-no-conflict-of-interest-in-ags-decision-not-to-charge-pm/#97dB4LaMVixoSGm2.99

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