Tuesday, February 23, 2021

In reverse role, former MACC chief turns defence counsel for ex-MP charged with money laundering

Ethical concerns arise as former anti-graft chief becomes part of ex-MP Shahrir Samad's defence team.

Other News

Lebih 1,000 pendatang Myanmar dihantar pulang hari ini

Program penghantaran pulang itu merupakan sebahagian daripada aktiviti berterusan proses pengusiran oleh Jabatan Imigresen bagi tahanan yang ditempatkan di depot.

Kelonggaran rentas daerah, negeri hantar anak ke sekolah dibincang esok

Keputusan perbincangan itu akan diumumkan Khamis ini dengan mengambil kira sekolah bakal dibuka secara berperingkat bermula 1 Mac.

Saksi nafi gelaran Datuk yang diterima berkait kes 1MDB

Nor Salwani Muhammad, 54,  memberitahu pingat yang diterimanya pada 1 Februari 2020 adalah kerana beliau telah berkhidmat selama 30 tahun di kementerian wilayah persekutuan.

Over 1,000 Myanmar nationals deported despite court order

Immigration chief Khairul Dzaimee Daud says 1,086 migrants have been sent back on three Myanmar navy ships.

Hong Kong to disqualify disloyal politicians, officials

A list of offences includes acts that endanger national security, advocating for independence or refusing to accept China's sovereignty over Hong Kong.

There have been concerns within the legal fraternity over a former chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) playing the role of defence lawyer to a politician charged with corruption.

MalaysiaNow has learnt that Dzulkifli Ahmad, who served as MACC chief from 2016 to 2018, is part of the defence team for former Felda chairman Shahrir Samad in the latter’s money laundering case.

Shahrir, the former Johor Bahru MP, faces a charge of money laundering for failing to declare his actual income in 2013 when he received RM1 million from former prime minister Najib Razak.

Prior to heading the MACC, Dzulkifli was in charge of the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement, a multi-agency unit placed under the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), when it was involved in the 2015 1MDB investigation which was shortlived.

The unit, which was disbanded by the Pakatan Harapan government in 2018, investigated tax evasion and the illegal outflow of funds, among others.

Dzulkifli was also head of the AGC’s unit to fight money laundering, the same crime with which his client is charged.

Shahrir is accused of breaching Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, as he did not report the RM1 million in his Public Bank account which he received from Najib in 2013.

His charge comes under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The offence carries a maximum fine of RM5 million and a jail term of up to five years.

Shahrir was among 80 individuals and entities to whom MACC issues compound notices in 2019 for receiving some RM420 million from Najib.

Shahrir said in 2015 that it was normal to receive money from the Umno president.

He refused to pay the compound, and instead filed for a judicial review to challenge the notice by MACC.

Ethical questions

When contacted by MalaysiaNow, Dzulkifli confirmed that he is part of Shahrir’s defence team.

However, he did not answer when asked if it was proper for him to represent a client facing a corruption case as he had been the MACC chief.

A senior lawyer meanwhile warned of conflict of interest as Dzulkifli was involved in the very agencies which investigated 1MDB, the source of the money Shahrir received.

“He puts himself in a clear conflict of interest as the defence lawyer to Shahrir, as he would have confidential and privileged information which came to him during the time he was in the AGC, and subsequently as chief commissioner of MACC,” the lawyer told MalaysiaNow on condition of anonymity.

He also brought up the stringent rules of ethics and conduct set by the Malaysian Bar, adding that it could be seen as “unbecoming for an advocate and solicitor to accept a brief in these circumstances”.

Meanwhile, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, Shahrir through another lawyer, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaludin, applied to block High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali from hearing a transfer application as well as from presiding over the trial.

In July, Nazlan delivered the guilty verdict on Najib over charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Shahrir said due to that, there was “a real possibility of bias” against him.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Is there room for the office in the post-pandemic world?

Many companies say they are ready to continue the work from home trend although the traditional office space may never completely disappear.

Down but not out for wheelchair-bound engineer

Although he initially suffered from resentment and anger at his injury, Sasitharan Chandran is now a motivational speaker who wants to help others in similar situations.

Frustrated users, no answers: Selangor’s SELangkah contrasts with MySejahtera amid low ratings, downloads

The app has had fewer than 6,000 downloads on Google Play, and unlike MySejahtera, users' concerns do not receive a direct response.

Webs of deceit woven to entrap children

Teens are tech savvy but not mature enough to spot and deal with online sexual predators hunting them.

Internet berisiko jadikan remaja mangsa eksploitasi seks

Remaja berpengetahuan dalam teknologi tetapi tidak cukup dewasa untuk melihat dan menangani pemangsa seksual dalam talian yang memburu mereka.