July 30, 2017
Former Attorney-General Abu Talib on Apandi Ali and 1MDB Scandal Cover-Up
by Alyaa Azhar@www.malaysiakini.com
Abu Talib is of the opinion that Apandi acted to the “best of his ability in the circumstances today” and that he has the power to clear the Prime Minister as “he has the evidence”.
No, Tan Sri, Apandi Ali did his best to exonerate Najib Razak. Why don’t you ask the incumbent AG to make his evidence (of Najib’s innocence) available to the DOJ and the Malaysian public and bring the IMDB scandal to closure so that Malaysia can go forward.–Din Merican
Two years have passed since Mohamed Apandi Ali was appointed as attorney-general, but his decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing with regard to the RM2.6 and 1MDB issues continues to haunt him.
Detractors have claimed he was appointed to replace Abdul Gani Patail, who was suddenly removed due to health reasons, with the sole aim of covering-up the 1MDB scandal. Both Apandi and the government have denied this.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman shared his thoughts on Apandi’s handling of the 1MDB case.
Responding to a question, he agreed that Apandi should be more cooperative with the US authorities instead of dismissing the Department of Justice (DOJ) suit as being politically motivated. “Ideally, he should because we are talking of justice and the rights of the individual,” he said.
Abu Talib cited the case of businessman Eric Chia in which the then Attorney-General had “gone around the world collecting evidence to support the charge preferred against him”.
The Federal Court, in 2007, however, held that the evidence obtained from Hong Kong was inadmissible. The former Managing Director of Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd was thus acquitted of committing criminal breach of trust.
“So we don’t know what evidence he (Apandi) has, the evidence the investigating agencies were able to gather which was presented to him for a decision,” said the former AG.
‘Apandi acted to the best of his ability’
They go to Mecca to cleanse their souls, return home to become more corrupt and then go back to the Holy Land for redemption.–Playing Monkey with God
On the same note, Abu Talib is of the opinion that Apandi acted to the “best of his ability in the circumstances today” and that he has the power to clear the Prime Minister as “he has the evidence”.
“I don’t know whether there is evidence or not. According to him, he examined the investigation papers and found the Prime Minister has not committed any criminal offence and therefore he closed the case.
“You and I don’t know the contents of the investigation papers. Maybe what evidence America has, they (the Attorney-General’s Chambers) don’t have here,” he said.
The DOJ had claimed US$4.5 billion of 1MDB funds had been misappropriated and is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly acquired using the stolen money.
Apandi, however, said the suit was “politically motivated”, claiming the DOJ never made a formal application to Malaysia’s Attorney-General’s Chambers to obtain further information with regard to its claim.
Asked how he would have handled the matter, Abu Talib cited the case of former culture, youth and sports minister Mokhtar Hashim who was convicted of murder in 1983.
The former AG stressed he would make decisions based on evidence made available. “I had to make a tough decision whether or not to charge him for the murder of his colleague in Negri Sembilan. I disagreed with everybody, I said there was enough evidence. I went to court and I prosecuted him, he was sentenced to death but later it was commuted to life imprisonment.My decision was based on the evidence,” he said.
Abu Talib believes that it is convenient for people to criticise when he or she does not even know the evidence that was presented.
“As Attorney-General, I think he (Apandi) acted on, as what he said, the facts and the law applicable.
“The Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) never said they have sufficient evidence, all they said was that they have completed their investigation and submitted (the findings) to the Attorney-General,” he pointed out.
Last January, Apandi said the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal account was a donation from a member of the Saudi Royal Family.
In its civil forfeiture lawsuits involving 1MDB, the DOJ claimed that the money had originated from 1MDB. Najib has repeatedly denied misusing public funds for personal gain and blamed such allegations on those conspiring to topple him.