Najib: Tommy Thomas must address MACC advisory board's concerns over dropped charges against ex-Felda man

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) has called on Tommy Thomas, who was the attorney general under the former Pakatan Harapan administration, to answer concerns raised by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission advisory board (LPPR) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang over the recent corruption charges that were dropped.

The former premier said this in reference to a statement by Abu Zahar saying it was worrying that MACC decided to drop 29 corruption charges against former Felda board member Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid.

"Would Tommy like to answer this?" questioned Najib in a Facebook post on Thursday (Sept 9).

Najib said it was usual practice for attorney generals to only prosecute an individual if it had a 90% chance of winning, and they would not charge anyone if the chances to win the case were low.

Najib also said the MACC's independent monitoring bodies which were formed during his former tenure as prime minister were disbanded when Pakatan took over federal power after the 14th General Election in May 2018.

"That is why cases withdrawn during Pakatan's time were never brought to the attention of those bodies," he added.

In a statement on Wednesday (Sept 8), Abu Zahar said he took a serious view on the corruption charges that were dropped, saying that the agency's board felt there were weaknesses in the investigation.

Abu Zahar also noted that the withdrawal of the corruption charges was based on new facts from further investigations conducted after the suspect had put forward his representation and defence statement under Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 during the trial.

"There are elements absent in the investigations and the decision by the prosecutor in early February 2019 by the Attorney General, as well as the management and administration of the MACC was made without thorough consideration.

"Because action was taken on a case and there was lack of transparency and professionalism involved, and it leaned towards political interests, which have caused the current MACC management to bear its implications."

Abu Zahar said he and the MACC advisory board do not want MACC to be politicised by any quarters.

Bernama reported on Sept 1 that Ehsanuddin had been acquitted and discharged of 29 corruption charges after the prosecution withdrew the charges against him.

MACC had explained that Ehsanuddin was acquitted because he had returned the money before the investigations began on the 29 corruption charges.

MACC also said further investigations were commenced when Ehsanuddin submitted his representation and statement of defence under Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 during the trial.

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