Chief Justice: MACC investigation against Nazlan done without following protocol

- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

Probe not properly done.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s investigation against Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was done without following protocol.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat also questioned the timing of the investigation, which was done at the eve of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s final appeal to overturn the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriation of SRC International funds.

Nazlan was the former High Court Judge who convicted and sentenced Datuk Seri Najib Razak to 12 years jail and RM210 million fine for misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International Bhd funds.

Tengku Maimun said even though the investigative bodies are constitutionally entitled to investigate superior court judges, these must be exercised in good faith and only in genuine cases.

“Najib also even relied on the supposed bias on the part of Nazlan and his former employment with Maybank as grounds to nullify his conviction.

“The curious timing of the investigation against Nazlan, which was done without consultation with the judiciary also casts doubt on whether the investigation against Nazlan was bona fide,” she said.

She said any such investigation must be conducted in accordance with a certain protocol in order to protect judicial independence.

Among the protocols that need to be adhered are:

– The investigative body must first consult the chief justice before commencing probes against the said judge.

– The investigative body cannot publicise the facts of the probe without prior approval from the chief justice.

– The public prosecutor must consult with the chief justice during the investigation including its decision to prosecute (the judge).

“Any abuse of those powers such as using them for collateral purposes not only constitute possible offences such as power abuse or obstruction of justice, but also constitutes actionable complaint through the court statutory review power.”

She said this in her ruling over an application to refer two constitutional questions relating to the MACC’s investigation on Nazlan by two lawyers and an activist.

The suit was filed by plaintiffs Nur Ain Mustapa, Sreekant Pillai and Haris Ibrahim on May 7, last year, seeking to declare that the MACC was not entitled to investigate serving judges unless they have been suspended or removed.

The plaintiffs, represented by solicitors Messrs Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, named MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki, the MACC and the Malaysian government as the first to third defendants in the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking to declare that the MACC was not entitled to investigate serving judges unless they have been suspended or removed.

They are also seeking a declaration that a public prosecutor was not empowered to institute or conduct any proceeding for an offence against serving judges of a court and that investigations against Nazlan were unconstitutional.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said yesterday said the investigation into Nazlan has been completed and the findings have been submitted to the top judge.

She said this matter is subjected to the Chief Justice’s decision, as stated by Clauses 3 and 3A of Article 125 of the Federal Constitution.

The MACC said they had completed its investigation into the alleged unexplained source of fortune involving Nazlan last year. – NST