KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Solicitor General III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria today defended his letter conveying the government’s directive that there should be no delays in the prosecution of corruption cases linked to the previous government.
His comments come after several parties had accused the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) of being unfair towards the previous Barisan Nasional administration after his email addressing Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPP) handling cases related to SRC International Sdn Bhd, 1Malaysia Development Berhad and other graft cases was leaked to the public.
“I wish to explain here that the AGC is part of the machinery of the Federal Government and being part of it, we receive direction and instruction from the Government.
“The AGC will always adhere to the Government’s directive and instruction so long as they are lawful and not against the Federal Constitution or any written law.
“Therefore, it is my duty, in my capacity as the Solicitor General III in charge of prosecution, to inform the DPPs concerned of the directive by the Government for the trial in respect of the above-mentioned cases to expedite in accordance to the scheduled dates,’’ he said in a statement.
Hanafiah said this is consistent with Section 172B(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which states that any trial shall commence no later than 90 days from the date of an accused being charged.
Hanafiah added that while the prosecution will oppose any attempts to postpone the cases, it is still ultimately up to the trial judge to decide.
He said the email was meant for deputy public prosecutors handling the SRC International, 1MDB and other cases involving the previous “kleptocratic government,” and was surprised that an internal matter had found its way into the public domain.