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Zahid's case not the first DNAA ever given, says Anwar

The prime minister reiterates that he did not intervene.

2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim yesterday reiterated that he had not intervened in the decision to grant a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) to his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the decision was made by then attorney-general Idrus Harun in accordance with Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution, whereby it is the authority of the attorney-general to exercise his discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue any court proceedings.

Anwar spoke on the matter when winding up the debate on the motion on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review in the Dewan Rakyat. Zahid's DNAA had been raised by several MPs when debating the motion.

He said the DNAA given to Zahid was not the first time that a charge was dropped after a prima facie case had been proven, citing the Kim Jong Nam murder case involving the public prosecutor and Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong.

"Those on the other side (the opposition) also had prima facie cases but they were thrown out, DNAA, then there was the case of Siti Aisyah. The attorney-general's decision is his discretion, but why make reckless and impolite accusations against the prime minister and think that I interfered? What evidence is there that I interfered?

"After that, they accused me of discussing (the matter with the attorney-general), but I never discussed it. I asked if there was a strong reason to give the DNAA. Then the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) made a decision saying that the investigation will continue and if there is additional evidence, the prosecution will continue," he said.

"In the case of DPM 1 (Zahid), the attorney-general at the time, Idrus, informed that he had to withdraw (the case) based on so many reasons.

"I said can't it (the decision) be postponed? He said 'No, it’s my duty, my conscience, I have to do it before I leave.' So I said okay," said Anwar.

Anwar said he did not dispute those who raised the matter, but that they should not accuse others of being a hypocrite and continue to punish them.
"I know many are not satisfied, that's all right, that's their right. (They said) ask the attorney-general to explain (the decision). I sympathise with the (present) attorney-general because he has to explain it.

"The decision was made by a former attorney-general appointed by Pagoh (Muhyiddin Yassin)," he said.

Anwar also criticised the attitude of opposition MPs whom he said only focused on the DNAA in Zahid’s case, while the corruption case of certain parties involving billions of ringgit was never raised.