Minister: MACC can seek review but AG has final say

Minister Datuk Paul Low said that the Attorney-General has the ultimate say in whether to press charges. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Minister Datuk Paul Low said that the Attorney-General has the ultimate say in whether to press charges. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will usually review cases if the Attorney-General’s (AG) decision clashes with its recommended actions, minister Datuk Paul Low said today.

Low said that the AG, however, has the ultimate say in whether to press charges.

“Furthermore, the MACC will present investigation papers that are not prosecuted to the Operations Review Panel for review and study after the Deputy Public Prosecutor makes a decision.

“However, as is provided for under Article 145 (3) in the Federal Constitution, the AG has the final powers to decide whether a case can be prosecuted or not,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in a written parliamentary reply.

Low was responding to Bukit Katil MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, who had yesterday asked the prime minister to state if MACC special operations director Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin has the right to appeal to the AG on the cases involving SRC International and the alleged transfer of RM2.6 billion to the prime minister’s accounts.

On January 26, AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of criminal wrongdoing in the corruption probes on SRC International, a unit formerly owned by  state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and the alleged transfer of RM2.6 billion into the prime minister’s private accounts.

Apandi said evidence showed that a US$681 million (RM2.08 billion) sum was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family to Najib without any consideration, with the unutilised portion of US$620 million (RM2.03 billion) later returned.

Apandi had also said there was no evidence to show that Najib had any knowledge of or had given any approval for the transfer of funds from SRC International into his accounts.

He also said he will return the three investigation papers to the MACC and instruct them to close the cases.

The MACC operations review panel subsequently urged the MACC to engage with the AG’s Chambers to seek further clarification on the latter’s decision.

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