PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s move to release the controversial audio recordings, involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has gotten yet another lawyer raising questions - this time, spotlighting on the timing of its release.
Daughter of the late Karpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo (pic), questioned if the release of the recordings were politically motivated in the run-up to the Kimanis by-election.
Sangeet, who is a lawyer, said impartiality, independence and credibility of an enforcement agency could come into question if it was hell-bent on public shaming.
She questioned MACC's motive in publicly playing the video recordings, even before police carried out investigations into the matter.
"What really is the motive of playing the recordings publicly before police investigations. Convenient that a by-election is around the corner.
"Imagine the uproar if we were in opposition and this was done to one of our politicians. Double standards," she said in her Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 9).
Sangeet said this in support of fellow lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdullah, who had also criticised MACC for undermining the rule of law by releasing materials that were not under its jurisdiction to investigate.
"I am no fan of Najib, but I quite like the rule of law," said Sangeet.
She noted that police had yet to investigate the recordings publicly played by MACC on Wednesday (Jan 8).
Sangeet said such a recording may or may not be admissible as evidence in court.
"Many legal issues arise such as authenticity, whether identity proven (voice recognition), whether the device was in good condition, context of the entire conversation etc. In fact, we often argue that a judge should decide on admissibility, even before hearing a recording.
"Whether or not it relates to the current 1MDB court case, the issue is whether or not it could influence the judge. Some of the conversations did relate to 1MDB.
"If it does not relate to current charge, then surely it is expected to be the basis of a fresh charge. If he is later charged for it, then the judge is already prejudiced by having heard the recordings before it passes the admissibility test.
"If he is not charged after the investigations then there is no offence, so why insinuate wrongdoing publicly in the first place," she said.
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