Justice must prevail – Akhbar Satar

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY AKHBAR SATAR

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) views with grave concern the recent arrest of former Umno Batu Kawan division deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang, the newly appointed attorney-general’s (A-G) refusal to press charges against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) officials despite two appeals from Bank Negara, and the Conference of Rulers’ statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal over 1MDB.

Khairuddin and Matthias were both scheduled to leave for New York and then London on September 18. However both were blacklisted and prohibited from leaving the country by the Immigration Department on police orders.

Later, Khairuddin was arrested and then released, but he was subsequently rearrested under a different act. This was followed by Matthias’s arrest.

Khairuddin was accused of sabotaging the country after it was discovered that he had lodged reports with investigators in Hong Kong, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom over the 1MDB scandal. Both Khairuddin and Matthias are now arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

TI-M strongly condemns the use of this law to detain whistle-blowers without trial. If the police have strong reasons to believe the duo are a threat to national security, they should be charged and tried accordingly. Detaining them for 28 days without trial is an abuse of power by the authorities. What has happened to all the government’s promises of non-abuse when Sosma was first introduced? Read more

Public can challenge A-G’s refusal to charge 1MDB, say lawyers

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Bank Negara Malaysia can challenge in court the Attorney- General’s decision to drop investigations into 1MDB, say lawyers. – Reuters file pic, October 10, 2015.

Any member of the public or entity, including Bank Negara Malaysia, can challenge in court the Attorney-General’s decision that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has not committed any offence despite the central bank’s appeal to review the case, lawyers said.

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said such a challenge had never been mounted in Malaysia but it had been done in other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

“If one thinks that there is bad faith by the A-G’s refusal to prosecute, one could go to the court for remedy,” said the criminal lawyer.

This legal view comes as the central bank issued a statement yesterday that its probe into 1MDB had found that the state investor made inaccurate or incomplete disclosures to secure permissions for overseas investments. Read more

Bank Negara revokes 1MDB foreign transfers, orders RM7.5 billion sent home

Source: The Malaysian Insider

1MDB has been ordered by Bank Negara to repatriate its overseas investments totalling US$1.83 billion. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, October 9, 2015.

Bank Negara Malaysia today said that its investigations showed troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had secured permissions for investments abroad based on inaccurate or incomplete disclosure of information.

In a statement, the central bank said it had revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB for investments abroad totalling US$1.83 billion (RM7.53 billion) and directed the company to repatriate the funds to Malaysia.

Bank Negara had recommended to the attorney-general (A-G) to initiate criminal prosecution against 1MDB for breaches under the Exchange Control Act 1953 (ECA) and added that the decision lay solely with the A-G.

“On its part, the bank concluded that permissions required under the ECA for 1MDB’s investments abroad were obtained based on inaccurate or without complete disclosure of material information relevant to the bank’s assessment of 1MDB’s applications,” the statement said.

Bank Negara also requested 1MDB to submit a plan detailing the repatriation of funds.

The statement comes a day after the A-G said it had reviewed the report of a central bank investigation into 1MDB and decided that fund officials had not committed any offence. Read more