AG clarifies role of public prosecutor

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Oct 2019

Justice for Adib: A poster on a wall at a flea market in Ipoh calling for justice over the death of Muhammad Adib.

PETALING JAYA: Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has clarified the role of the Public Prosecutor’s office in the case of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in the wake of calls for him to step down.

He said the role of the Public Prosecutor’s office only came after the police had finished their probe.

“After the investigation has been completed and the alleged perpetrator(s) identified, the completed Investigation Paper (IP) is given to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s with the recommendation of the police.

“It is at this stage that our role begins. We have to study the IP, review the police’s recommendations and charge the individuals concerned, ” he said in a statement here yesterday.

The statement came in the wake of certain groups who had reportedly urged Thomas to find those responsible for Muhammad Adib’s death or step down.

The Public Prosecutor’s office, said Thomas, would not neglect its duties once the IP had been handed over.

“Much speculation, most of which is misinformed, has arisen as to the steps that have to be taken by the various government agencies in the wake of last Friday’s decision of the Coroner, Rofiah Mohamad, at the completion of the inquest looking into the tragic death of Muhammad Adib.

“The public should be assured that the office of the Public Prosecutor takes its responsibilities under the law very seriously.

“No stone will be left unturned when the IP is delivered to us. The IP will be studied carefully and professionally. That is our promise, ” he said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Thomas pointed out, had already publicly stated that the police would investigate the case.

“They must be given the time and space to undertake their investigation.They have the resources of the state and the necessary experience and expertise to carry out their duties under the law.

“The IGP will no doubt keep the anxious public posted from time to time of developments in their investigation, ” he added.

In another statement, Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor reminded the public that the verdict of the inquest was not a criminal conviction and that the authorities needed to be given time to investigate thoroughly.

“It is to be reminded that the verdict of an inquest, unlike a criminal conviction, does not impute any liability against anyone.

“It is merely an exercise for the finding of facts, in determining how a deceased would have come upon his or her death, the cause of death and if there was any criminal element in it.

“Any verdict that touches on the involvement of ‘crime’ can only be acted upon based on concluded police investigations. Only upon the police concluding their investigation can the IP be sent to the AG for his consideration, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Bukit Aman wants those with new information on Muhammad Adib’s death to come forward.

Bukit Aman CID Prosecution and Legal division (D5) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Mior Faridalatrash Wahid said police were ready to record statements from witnesses to assist with the ongoing murder investigation.

“We will also recall past witnesses if the need arises, ” he told reporters yesterday.

Asked if those previously detained over the case would be called up again, SAC Mior said police would see whether there was a necessity to do so.

“We are investigating under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder. We are also waiting for further instructions from the Attorney General’s Chambers, ” he added.

On Friday, the Coroner’s Court had ruled that Muhammad Adib’s death was caused by two or more persons unknown.

The judgment came after 41 days of inquest proceedings.

Muhammad Adib, 24, was severely injured during riots at a temple in Selangor on Nov 27 last year.

He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.

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