Daim, family file court challenge to halt MACC probe

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Claim that the probe amounted to a fishing expedition.

Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin and his family have filed a lawsuit seeking court orders to stop the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation against them and prevent any charges that may result, claiming possible prejudice.

In the action filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Daim, his wife, his four children, and his family-controlled Ilham Tower Sdn Bhd named the respondents as the MACC and the public prosecutor.

In the court case filed through a judicial review application, Daim and the six others are also seeking compensation from the MACC in the form of general and exemplary damages, among other things.

They are also seeking a court order for the MACC to be compelled to return “all documents, files, papers, records, properties, assets and monies seized or obtained” from the commission’s investigations against Daim and his family within seven days of such a court order.

As the case was filed via a judicial review application, Daim and his family will have to first obtain leave from the High Court before the actual court challenge can be heard.

High Court judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh is scheduled to hear the application for leave for judicial review on January 16.

The six and Ilham Tower Sdn Bhd filed a judicial review leave application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday, which targeted MACC and the public prosecutor as the first and second respondents.

According to a copy of Daim’s supporting affidavit, he contended that the MACC’s conduct was perplexing and deeply disturbing.

The MACC probe was baseless and amounted to a fishing expedition, he added.

He claimed that the MACC did not disclose to him the nature of the offence that he was being investigated for since last year.

He alleged that the MACC only informed him that it was under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for gratification.

He pointed out that he ceased being finance minister on May 31, 2001.

“Yet, in the Dec 18, 2023, raid (on Ilham Tower), the MACC were seeking documents from 2009, and those relating to the construction of Ilham Tower, which began in 2009 and was completed in 2015.

I, therefore, believe that the MACC did not in fact have any basis (let alone reasonable cause) for believing that an offence was committed by me (or the rest of the second to fifth applicants) under Section 23 of the MACC Act for gratification in public office.

“MACC had thus embarked on a fishing expedition. This is a clear abuse of power. It is also unlawful,” Daim contended.

Daim said while the MACC cited the worldwide release of the Pandora Papers, which contained confidential files on offshore companies and assets linked to him and his family, as the basis for the probe against him, no investigation was carried out against several other well-known figures named in the leak.

He noted that at least two sitting ministers were named in the Pandora Papers, but to his knowledge, MACC has not investigated or questioned them, nor were any action taken against them.

The seven judicial review applicants seek multiple reliefs, among them a declaration that MACC has no “reasonable cause” to investigate Daim and his family.

They seek a declaration that if any criminal charges were made against the applicants, this would be unconstitutional and void because they would not receive a fair trial with the delay of some 22 years before the instituting of the charges.

They not only seek a court order to cease the investigation and any prosecution against them but also for MACC to return all seized property, documents, files, assets and monies.

They are also seeking a mandamus order to compel MACC to unfreeze and return their assets and related companies’ bank accounts. – MMO

Earlier report:

Jan 10, Daim’s wife alleges smear campaign against husband as MACC investigates his wealth