Bar Council loses appeal in Cecil misconduct case over Altantuya murder

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The High Court here today rejected the Bar Council’s appeal against the decision of the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (DB) to clear senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham of misconduct over the second statutory declaration (SD) by private investigator P.Balasubramaniam in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

Lawyer Lai Chee Hoe who represented the Bar Council said Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah made the ruling after finding that there was no valid ground for her to disturb the decision of the DB.

“The court did not order any costs,” Lai told reporters and which was confirmed by Cecil’s lawyer counsel Rishwant Singh. The case was heard today in chambers.

The bar council filed an appeal through an originating summons on March 11, 2016, seeking to set aside the DB’s decision, naming Cecil as the sole respondent.

It also applied for an order to declare the respondent liable for misconduct under Section 94(3) of the Legal Profession Act 1976, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

The bar council claimed the DB had erred in law in affirming and recommending the decision of the Disciplinary Committee (DC) which found no cause to take disciplinary action against Cecil. 

A misconduct complaint was filed against Cecil for allegedly drafting the second SD of now deceased Balasubramaniam, who was a prosecution witness in the murder case of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Hearing of the complaint against Cecil by the DC commenced on Feb 27, 2014 and ended on February 7, 2015.

On July 4, 2008, Balasubramaniam signed the second SD retracting the entire content of his first SD which he claimed he was forced to sign under duress.

The first SD was related to the Altantuya murder trial at the High Court in Shah Alam. — Bernama

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