Pakatan Harapan’s presidential council has demanded from Attorney-General Idrus Harun to explain if high-profile criminal cases can now be dropped by just paying a compound.
Referring to the acquittal of Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan, the council said he was freed from a money laundering charge despite the trial having commenced.
Given that the power to cease prosecutions rests solely on the attorney-general, the council said an explanation was needed on whether this treatment can be extended to other cases.
“The attorney-general must explain what will happen to other high-profile cases. Does the SOP now allow for a thief to be acquitted after paying back a portion of what was stolen?” asked the council.
Ahmad was charged in January 2020 for failing to declare RM2 million in his tax return for 2013. The money was received from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
He was initially offered a compound but sought trial instead.
On Sept 29, prosecutors withdrew charges against Ahmad after the latter agreed to pay RM1.1 million compound.
Prosecutors also dropped a charge which states that Ahmad gave a false statement to MACC officer Mohd Zairi Zainal in July 2019.
Following this, the MACC insisted that the compound on Ahmad was a form of “punitive” action, although he will not have a criminal record.
Meanwhile, the Harapan leadership council expressed disappointment with the MACC’s apparent “nonchalance” over the episode.
“Will the MACC now allow all corruption cases to just pay back the sum if the cases involved politicians who support the government?” it asked. – Malaysiakini