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Friday April 8, 2011

MACC duo failed to ensure Ahmad Sarbani’s safety

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officers who met Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed have been suspended for not adhering to instructions when handling witnesses or visitors at the MACC's premises.

They were suspended with immediate effect to facilitate an internal inquiry over why they failed to ensure the Selangor Customs assistant director's safety.

The 56-year-old was found dead on the badminton court of the building on Wednesday.

He had been released on bail two days earlier after being detained to help in the commission's probe into a money laundering and tax evasion ring worth billions.

Apparently, one of them had met Ahmad Sarbani at the lobby while the other met him on the third floor of the five-storey building. Both left him unattended.

MACC director of investigations Datuk Mustafar Ali confirmed the suspension but declined to elaborate.

Following the Teoh Beng Hock case, the MACC had instructed its offices nationwide to ensure all witnesses, suspects and those who had dealings with the MACC be attended to at all times and ensure they were safe.

Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of the Shah Alam MACC office after an all-night questioning on July 15, 2009.

The commission had taken the necessary precautions since then.

The five-storey building at Jalan Cochrane, which was opened five months ago, was equipped with CCTVs but not at the windows or outside the premises.

Several MACC offices are leased from other government departments and only a few belong to the commission.

A statement from MACC said the findings of the internal inquiry would be submitted to a five-member complaints panel headed by Datuk Mohamed Nor Abdullah.

Customs assistant director- general for enforcement Datuk Matrang Suhaili said it would leave the matter to the police.

“We are all saddened by this tragic incident,” he said at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, where a post-mortem was conducted on Ahmad Sarbani yesterday.

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