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Thread: AG's Office: AG robs police of authority with CPC amendments

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    AG's Office: AG robs police of authority with CPC amendments

    AG robs police of authority with CPC amendments

    • Hafiz Yatim

    • 8:47AM Jun 12, 2012

    Several high-profile criminal cases could well have been swept under the carpet on the instruction of the Attorney-General's Chambers.

    This follows claims that amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) five years ago have strengthened the attorney-general's position in police investigations as his office can, at any time, demand the investigation papers of a case even if it has not been completed.

    As a result, the AG's Chambers can at times be seen as influencing the direction of police investigations, something that has never before happened in the force.

    Former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Mat Zain Ibrahim, who raised this controversial matter, said the amendments to the CPC passed by Parliament in 2006 and enacted since 2007, have resulted in the police force losing some of its independent investigation powers (see chart at the end of this report).

    Before the amendments, Mat Zain said there was a clear demarcation of powers separating the duties of the AG's Chambers and the police.

    "This is as far as the prosecution and investigation powers are concerned. Both parties have been comfortable with the separation of powers for decades, and there was no problem to this prior to the amendments."

    The amendments, he lamented, have hammered yet another nail in the police force's coffin as a professional and independent institution.

    Musa 'sold' police force to AG

    Previously, he said, the public prosecutor would not be able to ask for police investigation papers (IPs) if a matter had yet to be completed and this was provided for in the law.

    "Now, with the amendments to the CPC, the AG or his officers can summon for the investigation papers as quickly as after a (police) report has been lodged," Mat Zain told Malaysiakini.

    More troubling, he said there had been instances when the IPs are not returned to the police, effectively holding up, or worse still, ending their investigation.

    "I have made my stand on this issue known to the current inspector-general of police, Ismail Omar (right), and I asked him to ensure that the police get their powers back," said Mat Zain, who retired from the force a decade ago.

    "I have also informed the home minister, the solicitor-general and the prime minister about my concerns as the police should be given a free hand to investigate, without any interference," he said.

    Mat Zain, who investigated a number of high-profile cases before his retirement including the ‘black-eye' involving former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim as well as former IGP Abdul Rahim Noor, said the amendments were to Sections 107 and 120 of the CPC.

    The current Section 120 (2) of the CPC allows the AG or his officers to instruct the police investigating officer or the officer-in-charge of a police district to submit the IP without the need for approval from senior police officers, such as the state police chief or the CID director.

    "This has never happened before prior to this amendment. At the time these amendments were drafted, former IGP Musa Hassan was deputy CID director, then promoted to CID director, then deputy IGP (DIGP) and these amendments was approved in 2006, when he was the DIGP. The amended CPC came to force in 2007, when Musa was the IGP.

    "I maintain my position that the CPC amendments were made possible with Musa's total agreement. It is Musa who sold the police force to the AG, Abdul Gani Patail."

    'I experienced such an episode'

    Mat Zain said he himself had experienced this episode when he was the investigating officer in the black-eye case.

    The AG's Chambers wrote him a letter on Feb 13, 1999, requesting the IPs on the case before the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) commenced as it (the AG's Chambers) received a letter on this matter from former IGP Abdul Rahim Noor's lawyers.

    The letter was written by the chambers' head of prosecution Azahar Mohamed, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, who cited Section 120 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The RCI took place from Feb 22 to March 4, 1999.

    "The AG had no power then to instruct any police officer to hand over IPs as and when he liked, as is practised today (after the CPC amendments), or to keep the papers as long as he wished after these are handed over to the chambers," Mat Zain said.

    "I discussed the matter with then IGP Norian Mai, who supported me on the issue as there was no provision in the law for the police to hand over IPs to the AG's Chambers," he said, adding that he called Azahar to inform him of the decision.

    The former top cop said the police force was very professional then, including its investigation on ex-boss Rahim (left), as at that time there was a internal battle between the police and the AG's Chambers to set the record straight. (More on this issue tomorrow)

    "In those days, the IOs could challenge the DPP or for that matter questioned the AG if he refused to charge a person when there were ample evidence to do so gathered during their investigations.

    "In the black-eye case, for instance, I even threatened Abdul Gani that I would lodge a report against him and the AG after the AG's Chambers declared the IP was never received by them, when in actual fact they have already signed the receipt for the IP. So much so, this ‘loss of IP' was even brought up in Parliament."

    Nowadays, he said the IOs just accept whatever is decided by the AG.

    Amendments aim to serve 'selfish' aims

    Mat Zain said he could attest without any hesitation that the amendments to the CPC could have been due to the bitter experience of the AG's Chambers in dealing with the police, especially with investigation officers such as him.

    "I can also say without any doubt that the CPC amendments were made mala fide (in bad faith) by Gani (far left) to serve his own selfish and evil purposes. This man is full of vengeance," he remarked.

    He said the amendment to Section 107 of the CPC may appear to ensure speedy police investigations, but that section also empowers the AG to order the OCPDs (district police chiefs) to furnish the information demanded by the chambers.

    "Put simply, the attorney-general can determine the direction of police investigations," Mat Zain added.

    Tomorrow: Confidential documents leaked to Anwar?
    Related report
    Ex-top cop: Police should probe naval document leak

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Gani Patail move landed late Mohtar in sticky situation

    • Hafiz Yatim and Leven Voon

    • 2:45PM Jun 14, 2012

    One would expect the Attorney-General's Chambers to uphold justice and set the record straight by preventing cover-ups.

    However, exactly the opposite happened in the infamous black-eye investigations with former Kuala Lumpur CID (Criminal Investigation Department) chief Mat Zain Ibrahimsaying that despite the focus being on their then boss, inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Noor, the police can hold their heads up high as the probe had cleared them.

    Mat Zain Ibrahim (left) revealed in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini that there was never any attempt by the police to cover up the incidenton the night of Sept 20, 1999.

    The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the Black Eye in its 1999 report states "The manner in which all our police witnesses discharged their duty to the oath they took to tell us the truth, was very creditable.

    "We hope that these observations will go some way to vindicate the reputation of the Royal Malaysian Police Force."

    Mat Zain, the investigating officer (IO) in the black-eye case said the RCI and the incident and the allegations of fabrication had in fact brought the Attorney-General's Chambers' integrity into disrepute.

    He added although former IGP Musa Hassan, the IO in the sodomy I case, was alleged to have been involved in the underhand move willingly or otherwise, it was done in his own personal capacity.

    The former top cop stressed that no orders had come from the higher-ups even from then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to cover up the matter as the PM had warned him personally on Oct 8, 1998, that the government would not hesitate in calling for a RCI if need be.

    Mat Zain said Musa cannot claim ignorance of what incumbent attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, then a senior prosecutor, was doing as he had acted as an intermediary for the late and present AGs and Bukit Aman as well as himself (Mat Zain).

    Musa had in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini last month admitted he took Anwar Ibrahim's blood sample from the Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctors to test for HIV and also DNA samples.

    ‘I warned Gani'

    Mat Zain said the origin of the black-eye probe problem lay in Abdul Gani's decision to appoint Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof on Oct 26, 1998, to prepare "the fabricated medical report" on Anwar when already a total of eight other doctors had examined the former deputy prime minister and completed their respective reports.

    Mat Zain produced a copy of Dr Abdul Rahman's expert report dated Oct 26, 1998, in which he states that he was appointed and was under the instruction of Abdul Gani.

    "I told Gani that appointing Dr Abdul Rahman would give rise to complications.

    "Besides Dr Abdul Rahman does not have legal standing and had also been under investigation for 'criminal intimidation' based on a report lodged by a senior pathologist who had examined and prepared Anwar's official medical report."

    Dr Abdul Rahman's first report said Anwar's injury could have been self-inflicted, in total contradiction to the other medical reports.

    Mohtar grudge against Anwar?

    Mat Zain said Mahathir had suspected something amiss and the cabinet decided to call for an RCI.

    "On Jan 27, 1998, when the RCI was announced, I met up with a then full minister whom I personally know for several years before to inquire on the need to have the RCI when my investigation were complete and the assailant identified, and the PM was briefed by me on Oct 8.

    During the conversation, the late minister told him that the then AG - the late Mohtar Abdullah - was quite angry with Anwar for exposing the photo of him and his wife taken together with tycoon Vincent Tan and senior lawyer VK Lingam and their spouses during their group vacation in Spain and Italy.

    "The late minister did not say whether the photo (right) expose had anything to do with what happened in the black-eye investigation or any other investigations on Anwar, but it was a fact Mohtar's relationship with Anwar was affected," he said.

    The photo which made the rounds in the public domain was also brought up during the Lingam RCI in 2007.

    Nevertheless, Mat Zain said Dr Abdul Rahman was appointed again on Dec 1, 1998 by Mohtar.

    He maintains that he did not know whether Abdul Gani had informed Mohtar that he (Abdul Gani) had already appointed Dr Abdul Rahman or that the Oct 26 medical report's existence, and whether Mohtar was also in the loop to object to the appointment.

    "That is for Abdul Gani to clarify. However, had Mohtar (right) been told about Dr Abdul Rahman's background and yet appointed him again on Dec 1, I would say it was silly of him to have done so since the fabrication trail can easily be backtracked."

    "But had Gani not told Mohtar about Dr Abdul Rahman, then Gani must have intended to put Mohtar in that sticky situation in order to exculpate himself (Abdul Gani).

    "After the December appointment, Dr Abdul Rahman went on to prepare two more reports taking the total to three, including the one instructed by Abdul Gani two months earlier. The doctor went on to give false testimony during the RCI.

    "Whether such testimony had the blessings from AGC (Attorney-General's Chambers) or otherwise is also for Abdul Gani to clarify," the former top cop said.

    Why no IPs to AG

    Mat Zain also alleged that Gani had given some classified and restricted documents from the investigation papers to Dr Abdul Rahman - who was not an authorised person - to help him fabricate the reports.

    This, he said, can be proved when the doctor himself had recorded them in the Oct 26 report.

    He said although the AG had demanded his investigation papers on the black eye on Feb 13, 1999, he did not comply as the RCI was about to commence on Feb 22, 1999 and all preparations had to be in place.

    "I did not want the AG to stifle the RCI. I know what they are capable of, especially Abdul Gani (left).

    "Moreover, the AGC had no power to force me to surrender the IP (investigation papers) at that point of time.

    "Most importantly, I had discussed the matter with the then acting IGP Norian Mai, that the police can be exonerated through the RCI after the adverse press statement by Mohtar sometime in January 1999, touching on police capabilities and professionalism.

    "This became the basis for the cabinet to form the RCI. True enough the police were officially exonerated after that."

    Instead, he said the documents and evidence recorded in the RCI are all unfavourable to the Attorney-General's Chambers, in particular Abdul Gani.

    Doc's report mysteriously withdrawn

    He also pointed out that while two of Dr Abdul Rahman's three reports were submitted to the RCI, the first dated Oct 26, was mysteriously withdrawn before the RCI's final report was presented to the Agong.

    "Hence, people do not know that Dr Abdul Rahman was appointed earlier by Abdul Gani himself.

    "I have all the three copies of Dr Abdul Rahman's report to prove what I have been saying all along.

    "I have written to the Health Department director-general, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Advisory Board, the solicitor-general over the three reports, but they did not reply."

    Mat Zain added that he even gave Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, a copy of each of all three reports accompanied by a detailed explanation of how it all came about.

    He said Anwar did lodge a report against Abdul Gani, Musa, Dr Abdul Rahman and himself sometime in 2008 for fabricating medical reports during the black-eye investigation.

    However, he said a three -member panel appointed by the solicitor-general, in a majority decision exonerated Abdul Gani and Musa (right), but not Dr Abdul Rahman and himself.

    Mat Zain also confirmed that he has issued a legal letter and served on the solicitor-general in July 2009 and is slowly building up his case to be filed at an appropriate time.

    He said that he was aware of Musa's suit against Anwar has been fixed for October for a full trial and that Abdul Gani has put on hold his statement of claim against Anwar although he has issued his letter of demand together with Musa.

    "If Abdul Gani is really sincere, all he needs to do is to account in detail, why, with the three expert reports already prepared by the doctor, he needed that many reports of different versions for just a simple and straight-forward assault case?"


    Part 1: AG robs police of authority with CPC amendments

    Part 2: 'Abdul Gani leaked confidential papers to Anwar'

    Part 3: Gani move landed late Mohtar in sticky situation

    Part 4: Ex-top cop Mat Zain not keen to be a politician
    Related reports

    Ex-top cop: Police should probe naval document leak
    Police must prove loyalty to nation, not politicians

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