MACC panel says closed book on Nik Aziz’s son-in-law
UPDATED @ 09:55:29 PM 23-02-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Graft investigations into Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s son-in-law have been terminated for a lack of evidence, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) operations review panel (PPO) said today.
“PPO members were given statements and we found that, in agreement, we support the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers that this case is closed because of lack of evidence to charge him,” panel chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil told reporters after its first quarterly meeting of the year today.
Kelantan Mentri Besar Corporation (PMBK) and Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman were both investigated by the anti-graft body since 2010 over claims of abuse.
The PAS spiritual leader’s son-in-law was formerly the CEO of the Kelantan government’s investment arm.
The probe further resulted in the sacking of PMBK corporate liaison officer Syed Azidi Abdul Aziz, who was accused of exposing wrongdoings in the corporation.
Today, Hadenan said there were insufficient safeguards within the Kelantan government’s financial system and related procedures to prevent possible abuse.
“So MACC has visited the MB’s office in January 2011 to inform him of the importance (of having such measures in place).
“PPO has also advised that every state government have a financial procedure and laws which are transparent, prudent, to avoid such cases,” Hadenan said.
He added that the absence of such regulations meant that cases of abuse may not be prosecuted due to the lack of a specific legal breach.
“We found that the lack of such procedure, whatever case that comes up, it will be difficult to charge someone in court,” Hadenan said.
In November of 2009, Nik Aziz directed Ariffahmi to relinquish his position as chief executive of PMBK after accusations of nepotism were hurled at the mentri besar.
Aside from the claims of bias, Ariffahmi was also hit with allegations of misappropriation and abuse of power, which became the basis of the now-concluded MACC probe.