MACC Questions Hishammuddin over Spy Agency Case

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Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday in connection to a corruption investigation involving ex-spy chief Hasanah Abdul Hamid.

A high-ranking MACC source said that the Umno lawmaker was questioned for three hours at the graft buster’s headquarters in Putrajaya but gave no other details.

Hishammuddin told The Malaysian Insight he went voluntarily to give a statement after his name came up during Hasanah’s remand hearing on Saturday.

Hasanah’s lawyer, Shaharudin Ali, had told reporters that a deputy public prosecutor had told the court that they wanted Hasanah’s remand extended as they wanted to question Hishammuddin and two Saudi princes in relation to her case.

The other reasons for extending the remand included MACC wanting to track down the balance of the missing funds and several luxury watches, apart from tracing the movements and searching Hasanah’s residence.

The court only granted an extension of one day after earlier issuing a seven-day remand against the former spy chief.

“I met them (MACC) because the lawyer said I was going to be called. I may as well check with MACC what this lawyer was talking about,” Hishammuddin told The Malaysian Insight in a text message.

“I met MACC voluntarily and I will cooperate fully without fear or favour. They were very professional and I believe they will investigate the matter fairly and in a transparent manner.

“I gave my statement and I have cooperated with them fully.”

Hasanah was picked up last week to assist in investigations into the arrest of eight intelligence officers from the Prime Minister’s Department for allegedly misappropriating some US$12 million (RM49.5 million), which was brought in through Kuala Lumpur International Airport just before the 14th general election.

The eight officers were said to be former staff of the controversial Malaysian External Investigation Organisation (MEIO), of which Hasanah was its former director-general.

It was learnt that the MACC is now trying to establish if part of that US$12 million was also handed to Hishammuddin.

Following Hasanah’s arrest, MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki said the anti-graft body seized US$6.3 million from several locations in its probe into alleged misappropriation of funds by former government intelligence officers.

The largest stash, US$4.07 million, was found in a rented condominium in Cyberjaya last week.

Hasanah was released from custody yesterday.

She is pursuing legal action against the MACC and the government for denying her the right to counsel during her remand period, saying it was unconstitutional. – TMI