High Court to continue to hear Mahathir's RCI application with same judge

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 May 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will continue to hear an application by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to declare the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara null and void.

This followed Justice Azizah Nawawi's decision which dismissed Dr Mahathir's application to recuse her from hearing his suit.

Justice Azizah ruled on Thursday (May 17) that Dr Mahathir must show that there was a real danger of bias and not just a reasonable suspicion of bias on the part of this court to hear the case.

She said in the present application, the “real danger of bias” has not been made out as the subject matter of this case was different from the first RCI-1 case.

The RCI-1 case was filed by Dr Mahathir to disqualify Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon from being panel members in the RCI proceedings.

Justice Azizah said in the RCI-1 case, the subject matter was on the composition of the members of the RCI, which is different from the suit being heard by the court.

“The present application challenges the findings of the RCI for failing to include the entire notes of proceedings including oral testimonies of the witnesses, all applications made by the parties (written or oral) and the entire submissions of the parties in the report,” she said.

Dr Mahathir made the application to recuse Justice Azizah on the grounds that the judge had previously heard a suit involving the same subject and issue.

In the originating summons filed on Dec 19 last year, Dr Mahathir said the report was illegal, incomplete and defective as it lacked proceeding notes, and written and oral submissions through transcription or video recording.

The suit also sought to declare that any reports by any RCIs established under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1950 are only legal and in order if they have all the written statements by the witnesses who testified in the proceeding, the proceeding notes, the submissions, and the findings.

The suit named Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon, S.A.K. Pushpanathan, RCI secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail, then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Cabinet ministers, and the Malaysian Government as defendants.

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