The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) must explain its decision to withdraw an appeal against former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s acquittal in a graft case.
In a statement, the Malaysian Bar said it was “perturbed by the AGC’s purported decision to withdraw the appeal, taking into consideration the fact that the Court of Appeal’s decision was not unanimous”.
“The attorney-general (AG) is the principal legal adviser to the government and is also the public prosecutor. The power granted by the Federal Constitution to institute any proceedings for an offence is exercisable at his discretion.
“It is our view that the reasons behind withdrawing an appeal in such a high-profile case must be revealed to demonstrate accountability to the rakyat,” said the Malaysian Bar president AG KalidasKalidas”It is axiomatic that the AG must answer for the exercise of the constitutional power that he holds and the discretion to discontinue prosecutions because these powers are exercised on behalf of the rakyat and for the rakyat,” he said.
“The wide-ranging discretionary powers held by the AG in his capacity as the public prosecutor must be weighed comprehensively against the rule of law and the administration of justice.
“Any suggestion that a public figure is able to use his/her influence to buy himself/herself out of accountability must be avoided at all costs,” he said.
A news portal reported yesterday that the prosecution’s appeal may have lapsed as the petition of appeal was not filed on time.
Court rules state that the petition must be filed in the Federal Court within 10 days of receiving the appeal records which, among others, consist of grounds of judgment and notes of proceedings.