Zaid Ibrahim wants freeze on all criminal court cases against politicians until AG changes

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has called for a suspension of all high-profile criminal court cases involving politicians until a new attorney general is appointed replacing incumbent Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

The one-time law minister told news portal Free Malaysia Today published today that this was necessary to reduce tensions for the coming 15th general election.

“Pending the appointment of a new AG, which is bound to take place after the coming general election, all high-profile cases ought to be suspended,” Zaid was quoted as saying.

Zaid said there were concerns of selective prosecution in those cases and cited excerpts from a recent book authored by former AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas — who is now under investigation for sedition among others.

He claimed the book My Story: Justice in the Wilderness contained elements of improper appointment of judges and various other abuses that were troubling as they affected the integrity of the judiciary.

He also blamed Idrus for creating a “negative perception” of the justice system after dropping the bribery and money laundering charges against Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim without explanation.

“This clearly shows the deplorable state of affairs in our justice system. We cannot allow our justice system to be hijacked by any party for use as their political tool.

“A brief moratorium pending review by the next AG of all criminal cases involving politicians will go a long way towards reducing tensions in preparation for the coming elections,” Zaid, who is now back in Umno, was quoted as saying.

Zaid, who was briefly disgraced ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence lawyer in the latter’s last SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal at the Federal Court, listed the ongoing court cases against Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Umno Johor chief Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, as well as DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng, and Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

He faulted Idrus for doing nothing to inspire confidence, especially after Najib’s conviction for SRC International.

He also claimed “everyone knows” that the trial judge in Najib’s SRC International case should have recused himself due to “serious conflict of interests” and that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had issued a report to confirm this.

“That report was submitted to the AG three months ago. Its contents, which were subsequently leaked on the internet, have never been denied by the AG or MACC.

“On top of that, MACC’s chief commissioner, Azam Baki, confirmed last week that investigations into the matter had been completed and that the final report had been submitted to the AG,” Zaid was quoted as saying, adding that Idrus had not addressed the issue.

Zaid claimed that Najib was “wrongly convicted” as a result of the combination of Thomas’ alleged “indiscretions” and Idrus’ “inaction”.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob ordered investigations into Thomas over allegations against the judiciary, disclosure of government information and secrets, suspected illegal actions, abuse of power and professional negligence, as well as seditious statements.

Police secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said that a revised version of the investigation paper was submitted to the AG yesterday.

Idrus was appointed AG in March 2020 replacing Thomas who resigned following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

He was granted a one-year extension till March 2023 when his two-year contract expired this year.