RCI states ways to improve commission

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Jul 2011

PETALING JAYA: Those invited to MACC premises should not be kept for more than four hours initially and should be free to leave at any time, the RCI report stated.

If a person needed to be held longer, he could only be kept for a maximum of 12 hours following which the person should be released or arrested.

The person should also sign and agree that he did not have any objections to the extension.

“His arrival and departure details must also be recorded. “In addition, an officer senior to the interviewer should satisfy himself that the continuation is justified and sign off on the record.

“Justifications might include having to provide a lengthy statement, interruptions as to consult legal counsel, interruptions to consult documents and the like.

“The death of Teoh Beng Hock should not be in vain and all attempts should be made to improve the functioning of the MACC and the administration of criminal justice,” it said.

Evidence, the report said, showed that witnesses were kept for a considerable period of time with no proper record of time spent at MACC.

MACC, it said, should adopt a standard procedure for dealing with witnesses and suspects and declare and record whether a person was a former or latter.

The process, the report stated, should be fully recorded in a purpose-designed booklet which is kept available for scrutiny.

“A soft-back book with stapled numbered pages should be considered for use to obviate any suggestions of tampering,” it said, adding that full details of the person should be recorded in the book.

Suspects should also be advised of their rights, it said, adding that only a person implicated in a criminal act should be treated as a suspect.

“The recommendations are intended to improve and rebuild the MACC as a wellrespected institution. We have every confidence that the MACC will rise to the challenge.”

It also noted that the interviews conducted by MACC ranged from “robust” to “brutal” with Selangor MACC officers admitting that “psychology” was also used.

It said that the interviews were not only “oppressive” but the techniques seemed to have the “tacit approval” of Selangor MACC's senior officers.

The techniques, it added, were in violation of lawful practice and seen to be ineffective by international law enforcement.

It also noted that there were more complaints against Selangor MACC officers than against other MACC offices nationwide with 25 of the 59 reports over a five-year period against the state MACC.

The RCI suggested that MACC postpone the roll-out of its video interview rooms until all officers were properly trained to ensure they knew how to use the equipment and employed proper interviewing techniques.

*Full report of RCI findings

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