Wednesday, May 18, 2022

What ‘inconclusive’ means in the legal process

When there is no finding of breach, the law cannot be used as a weapon but must be turned to act as a shield to protect the innocent.

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The enforcement of laws is a fair process. Whenever a complaint is made to the authorities, the law allows or rather demands that the authorities conduct prior investigations before deciding whether to press charges against the suspect.

One must remember that when a case is brought to court and a charge is preferred against a person, the suspect becomes the accused and the prosecutor must prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt before an accused becomes a convict.

If the prosecutor fails to back the charges with documentary, circumstantial or other forms of evidence, the case falls and is thrown out of court at the expense of taxpayers.

The recent allegation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission boss Azam Baki allegedly breaching the securities laws raised some eyebrows. This short clarification intends to analyse and briefly discuss the process that the law accords when such an allegation is made or a report is lodged.

The Securities Commission Act 1993 contains provisions empowering the commission to appoint investigating officers (Section 125 of the SC Act) while Section 128 of the same act provides for it to initiate investigations when a report of a breach is made.

In accordance with the SC Act and based on a complaint made against Azam’s alleged breach of Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories Act 1991 or Sicda), the SC did initiate an investigation on the conduct and came out with a finding as follows:

“The SC has concluded its enquiry and based on the evidence gathered, the SC is not able to conclusively find/show that a breach of securities law under section 25(4) Sicda 1991 has occurred.”

In laymen’s terms, what this means is that from the concluded inquiry of the investigating committee of the SC, the committee has failed to find any proof to conclude that a breach has occurred. What is important is to note that the inquiry has ended.

At the end of the inquiry, there existed no evidence to charge Azam for breaching Section 25(4) of Sicda.

It is only natural that when the authorities (in this case the SC) find no evidence to show any breach, a charge cannot be preferred against Azam. When even at the investigation stage there is found to be no basis for an alleged breach, any further process of suspecting and prosecuting a person must stop.

Investigation is the crux of any alleged wrongdoing and when there is no finding of breach, the law cannot be used as a weapon but must be turned to act as a shield to protect the innocent.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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