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Daim’s lawyers: PM Anwar’s remarks interfere with court process, investigations

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should stop openly commenting on the investigations and case of former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, the latter’s lawyers said when calling this interference with and disrespect of the court process.

Daim’s lawyers, Rajesh Nagarajan and Sachpreetraj Singh, were commenting on Anwar’s statement yesterday where he had highlighted the lack of support among the federal opposition on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s action “against one of the major figures considered to be among the richest”.

“This is clearly about the ongoing court proceedings and MACC investigation upon Tun Daim Zainuddin. Indeed, many news outlets linked the PM’s statement with Tun Daim. This is also not the first time Anwar has lashed out at Tun Daim in public forums in recent months,” the lawyers said in a statement today.

Saying that no court has convicted Daim of any offence, the lawyers claimed that Anwar is insinuating that Daim is guilty of crimes and trying to drum up public opinion against the latter with his criticism of the Opposition.

Daim’s lawyers questioned why Anwar needed to call the opposition and others to support the MACC’s actions, noting that the legal process for investigations set out in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act “doesn’t include any role for the prime minister to carry out rabble-rousing against persons being investigated”.

“This process must be carried free from outside pressures or influence.

“It is unbecoming and reckless for the person occupying the influential position of prime minister to make such insinuations and inflammatory statements regarding an ongoing probe and pending court proceedings,” they said.

Daim’s lawyers claimed that Anwar’s remarks are “highly prejudicial to the pending court proceedings and capable of exerting undue pressure and influence upon the MACC”.

“It disrespects and interferes with both the court and the investigative process. It sends out the signal that Daim’s guilt is already established and that the rest is just mere formality.

“In conclusion, the prime minister must forthwith cease making such comments in relation to the ongoing court and investigative process against Tun Daim. Anwar must remember that under our criminal justice system, every person is entitled to a fair and unbiased legal process, free from all interference,” they concluded.

On January 29, Daim was charged in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur with failing to declare his assets to the MACC. He has pleaded not guilty and has claimed trial. The trial has yet to begin.

On March 4 (next Monday), the High Court will deliver its decision on whether to grant leave for Daim’s and his family’s judicial review application to be heard. Whether the High Court will proceed to hear the judicial review application will depend on whether leave is granted.

Among other things, the judicial review application is aimed at seeking the quashing of the charges against Daim and his wife over their alleged failure to declare assets to the MACC.