KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Lawyers for Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail today accused the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) of politically motivated attacks against their client in order to protect the real culprits behind the scandal-tainted National Feedlot Centre (NFC).
N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya claimed the MACC was behind a controversial bribery leak linking the consultant, charged with cheating the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is seen to still wield much political and business influence.
The two lawyers, who hold senior positions in PKR, were responding to a news report yesterday citing “sources” saying that Shamsubahrin (picture) had denied being instructed to bribe the police, and that it was in contradiction to a subsequent police report he had filed.
“This is a completely false allegation intended to tarnish Shamsubaharin’s reputation and to protect those involved in the NFC scandal,” Surendran and Latheefa said in a media statement today.
“The ‘sources’ who made the above allegations against Shamsubaharin seem well-versed with the investigations, and appear to have come from the MACC itself,” they said.
Surendran and Latheefa said they were able to confirm reports of Shamsubaharin’s bribery claims as they were supported by text message evidence on SMS (short messaging service).
They said they had also seen Shamsubahrin’s statement to the MACC and that nowhere did it state that NFCorp chairman, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, had “at no time instructed him to bribe [the] police”.
“The claim that Shamsubaharin had told Salleh that Mahathir had instructed him to help the NFC also does not appear anywhere in his statement,” they said.
Surendran, who is PKR vice-president, had previously told reporters that his client “was made a scapegoat in the NFC scandal”.
They questioned if the MACC was trying to tar Shamsubahrin’s reputation to justify their failure to act against those that the 45-year-old now being held at the Sungai Buloh jail had named as bribery suspects, based on the SMS evidence.
“We demand that the MACC reveal what role they played in these false ‘leaks’ to the media, and their purpose in doing so,” said Surendran and Latheefa.
“The ongoing politically motivated persecution of our client by the authorities must also cease immediately,” they said, adding the charges against Shamsubaharin were legally and factually baseless, and that they will prove so in court.
Shamsubahrin will be tried in the Sessions Court on April 4.
He was charged last December with cheating Mohamad Salleh, husband to minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, of RM1.76 million in fraudulent consultancy fees.