Malaysian Bar: AGC, MACC need to be held accountable over Zahid’s DNAA

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Critical to the running of the nation to keep all institutions, including the AGC and MACC, accountable.

The Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGC) and MACC must be held accountable over the AG’s decision to seek a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption case, contended the Malaysian Bar.

Its counsel Ambiga Sreenevasan said this while presenting oral submissions before the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

The legal profession regulatory body is applying for leave to commence a judicial review to overturn the deputy prime minister’s DNAA in the case linked to millions of Yayasan Akalbudi funds in September last year.

“(The judicial review) is not academic. If the AG’s decision is quashed, they (prosecutors) would be compelled to continue with the trial.

“This is something to rectify the situation, hence we invite the court to do so (by granting leave for the Bar to proceed with the judicial review).

Malaysiakini

“So much work has been done for the trial, and this is to be fair to the administration of justice and nothing else,” the former Bar president told civil court judge Amarjeet Singh.

She said it was critical to the running of the nation to keep all institutions, including the AGC and MACC, accountable.

“We did not ask them to do this (AG seeking to withdraw the graft case against Zahid), but when they do and someone says something is wrong with our institutions, that is something to hold them accountable for,” she added.

However, the AG’s legal representative, senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan countered that the top prosecutor’s decision cannot be challenged in court.

He also said the Bar failed to show that it falls in one of the few exceptions which permit such challenges.

In agreement with the AGC, Zahid’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitted that the Bar failed to show compelling prima facie evidence to rebut the presumption of legality over the AG’s decision to seek a DNAA.

Amarjeet set June 27 to deliver his decision on whether to grant leave for the Bar to commence with the judicial review.

The legal requirement for leave is to eliminate frivolous or hopeless applications at an early stage and to ensure that the matter only proceeds to a substantive hearing if there is a case fit for consideration.

On Sept 4 last year, the prosecution applied for a DNAA over the 47 graft charges against Zahid, and the criminal court allowed it.

Three months later the Bar announced it had filed the legal challenge over Zahid’s DNAA, stating that it is challenging the AG’s decision to seek DNAA as part of its statutory duty to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour. – Malaysiakini