KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim added today the purported snubbing of the Agong to the list of accusations he has levelled against Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail after the Attorney-General (AG) refused to say if his office would prosecute three anti-graft officers who allegedly drove Teoh Beng Hock to suicide.
The royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the DAP aide’s 2009 death had recommended that action be taken against then-Selangor MACC deputy director Hishammuddin Hashim, assistant enforcement office Arman Alies and assistant superintendent Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus.
But the country’s top lawyer instead told reporters yesterday the case has been referred back to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after emerging from a meeting with de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and MACC investigation chief Datuk Mustafar Ali.
Mat Zain, former city criminal investigations chief, pointed out in a letter sent to The Malaysian Insider that this was the second time Gani has failed to act on recommendations by an RCI.
The retired senior cop, who was the lead investigator in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s 1998 “black eye” case, said Gani, who has been AG since 2002, also failed to act on a previous RCI in 2007 probing allegations that appointments of judges were fixed.
The panel had recommended action against senior lawyer Datuk VK Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, former Chief Justices Tun Eusoff Chin and Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as well as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“What happened to the recommendations? Gani Patail doesn’t even care a damn about the RCI Commissioners nor has he any respect for them in spite of him knowing they were appointed by the Agong,” he wrote.
Mat Zain also said this was further cause for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to form a tribunal to investigate the various allegations of misconduct against the AG.
“In spite of the damage Gani Patail had done to the police’s image and credibility, I just cannot fathom how some of them are still willing to beg and kiss his feet, especially when knowing the sufferings he has caused, not just to the force but to the criminal justice system as a whole.
“The prime minister has no valid reasons to say no to a Tribunal. That is the only competent authority provided in the Constitution to adjudicate the conduct of the Attorney-General,” he said.
Najib said last month another former top policeman’s claim that he was stitched up with corruption charges by Gani and then police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan after stumbling upon Musa’s alleged involvement with organised crime did not merit a tribunal as they were mere allegations.
Gani Patail doesn’t even care a damn about the RCI Commissioners nor has he any respect for them. — Mat Zain
This comes after Mat Zain’s repeated accusations in the past three years that Gani and the former Inspector General of Police fabricated evidence in Opposition Leader Anwar’s 1998 “black eye” case which he investigated.
He also said Najib admitted he knew of Gani’s alleged wrongdoings when they met in private in 2008. He had then challenged Najib to axe the AG over his failure to act in high-profile cases such as Teoh’s death that occurred at MACC premises.
Putrajaya has repeatedly said, most recently in November, it will not reopen investigations into the case as an independent panel set up in 2009 had cleared Gani of any wrongdoing.
But Mat Zain said the panel was unconstitutional as only a tribunal, formed by the Agong on the advice of the PM, can investigate the conduct of the AG.
“The PM has no powers to clear the AG on his own nor form some panel under whatever name called for that purpose as and when he likes,” he added today.
Teoh, political aide to Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Selangor MACC’s office in Shah Alam after overnight questioning.
A coroner’s inquest returned an “open verdict” ruling out both suicide and homicide, leading Datuk Seri Najib Razak to order a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) after the ensuing public uproar.
The royal panel found that the three MACC investigating officers involved in the case used “continuous, aggressive and improper questioning tactics on Teoh which had breached its existing standard operating procedures” and recommended that action be taken against them.