Bersih calls for urgent separation of PP from AGC after Zahid’s DNAA

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Bersih said until the Attorney General-Public prosecutor separation was done, the AGC must refrain from withdrawing charges in high-profile cases.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must announce a clear roadmap and timeline for the separation of Public Prosecutor (PP) from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), says The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih).

This is following the High Court’s decision to grant Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges, eight counts of bribery and 27 for money laundering, involving scores of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akal Budi.

Bersih Steering Committee said such a decision was unacceptable after a prima facie case had been successfully established by the prosecution which calls for Zahid to present his defence.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

It said the DNAA will also cast serious doubts towards Anwar’s Unity Government which is carrying the reformist credential.

“As it stands now, the Attorney General is a political appointee advising the government which plays the duo role of the Public Prosecutor who holds the power to initiate or drop criminal charges. This can be abused for political reasons.

“Bersih wishes to remind and draw precedence from the case of the former intelligence chief Hasanah Hamidi in August 2022, the High Court granted a full acquittal in her RM50 million CBT charge, just one year after the DNAA.

“We also wonder if this is a prelude to the dropping of all remaining charges against former prime minister Najib Razak, which will all but erode public trust in the Madani government’s reform agenda,” it said in a statement.

Bersih said until the Attorney General-Public prosecutor separation was done, the AGC must refrain from withdrawing charges in high-profile cases.

“If the cases are defective, let judges rule on that, not prosecutors who are ultimately under the prime minister’s control.

Bersih said the AGC must also reveal what possible new charges or new directions of investigation are being studied against Zahid.

“If there is no plan for new charges, then this might amount to providing an escape route for Zahid to apply for acquittal within months.

“Thus, Bersih calls on the prosecution to review the DNAA evidence and all 47 charges again and re-charge if necessary.” – NST