KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Attorney General’s Chambers must explain why it sought a discharge not amounting to acquittal in Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor’s corruption trial, said the Patriot group that noted this was the third high-profile withdrawal this year.
The group representing retired Malaysian security personnel said the Umno leader’s DNAA came after the acquittals of Riza Shahril Abdul Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.
“There is already a general feeling of distrust against the investigating authorities and the courts, especially when dealing in corruption cases that involve politicians in the ruling parties,” Patriot president Brig. Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said in a statement.
“With the discharge awarded to Tengku Adnan, the people are also asking whether the remaining court cases against five senior Umno politicians: Najib Razak, Zahid Hamidi, Isa Samad, Bung Mokhtar and Azeez Abdul Rahim will proceed to conclusion, or will also end in abrupt discharge too.”
Yesterday, the prosecutor in former minister Tengku Adnan’s corruption trial applied for the DNAA by citing new developments that required further investigation, which High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then granted.
The 69-year-old Putrajaya MP had been charged with corruptly receiving RM1 million from businessman Datuk Tan Eng Boon, who already pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of abetting the politician and was fined RM1.5 million.
Mohamed Arshad said the decision also came at a time when the country was witnessing endemic corruption within Malaysian authorities such as the Immigration Department, Royal Malaysia Police, and National Registration Department, among others.
The prosecution’s decision at such a late stage in Tengku Adnan’s trial was “shocking” and “unacceptable”, Mohamed Arshad said when demanding to know who gave the order and why.
Malaysians were grating at the sight of prominent politicians who were charged with corruption yet were still able to mingle freely and be treated like luminaries, he asserted.
“It is shameful, repugnant, disgusting, horrid, all in the superlative meaning. It is also no wonder that the Washington Post previously cited, ‘Malaysia is world champion of corruption’.”
The DNAA does not exculpate Tengku Adnan of his charges and the prosecution may renew the case against him at any time. Riza Aziz’s acquittal of his money laundering charges related to 1MDB was also conditional.
However, Musa was fully acquitted of his 46 corruption charges and may never be prosecuted over the same alleged offences again.