‘Charges soon on Mara’s property purchase in Australia’

Easy identification: In this filepic, a MACC suspect is in orange remand attire. Azam says investigation officers are given the discretion to decide if a suspect has to wear the orange garb, mainly for identification purposes.

PUTRAJAYA: The case of Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) property purchase in Melbourne will be taken to court soon, said anti-graft chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki, hinting that one of the individuals who may be charged is now residing in Sabah.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner said the deputy public prosecutor had agreed in principle to charge those involved.

“One of the individuals to be charged is said to be residing in Sabah and is in quarantine.

“So, we need to arrange for the right time to charge those involved, ” he said in an interview over its in-house radio station MACC.fm.

However, Azam did not mention how many people would be taken to court over the scandal.

Insisting that the commission was not protecting anyone involved in this case, MACC, he said, was firm and focused in its probe.

“We are just waiting for the time to charge, ” he added.

Previous reports claimed that Mara had overpaid by A$4.75mil (RM14.14mil) for the Dudley International House.

Australian authorities had recently seized properties and cash totalling A$1.6mil (RM4.8mil) from a man said to be a Malaysian living in Australia and who had been accused of bribing a Malaysian official to secure Mara’s purchase of the multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Melbourne in 2013.

The Dudley property scandal was first highlighted by the Australian media, which led to the revelation of other properties said to have also been bought at inflated prices.

On the issue of taking MACC suspects in the orange lock-up outfit to court for remand, Azam said there were reasons why they were made to wear it, adding that investigation officers were given the discretion to decide on this.

“I would like to settle this once and for all. I would like to ask, what is the problem with the baju oren (orange attire)?

“Police also make suspects wear the remand attire. Their suspects are handcuffed, too. But this has not been turned into a polemic (issue), ” he said.

Azam was responding to questions if it was right for MACC to

put suspects going to court for remand in the orange garb and handcuffs.

“I know some people are talking about human rights. But we must also consider the rights of the people who demand that the MACC officers carry out their duties well and effectively, ” said Azam.

He said in some cases, investigation officers might feel it is necessary to put suspects in lock-up attire when they are taken to court for remand.

“Bear in mind that on most occasions, there would be other enforcement agency officers taking their suspects to court for remand applications.

“If they were not in the orange suit, it would be hard to identify the suspects, ” he pointed out.

Those detained by MACC and held in its lock-ups must put on the suit, also for easy identification.

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macc , azam baki , mara , property , melbourne , sabah , orange , lock up , remand


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