23 Dec 2010

MACC panel chief demands probe into torture claims

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 – Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today to investigate a former Sime Darby official’s torture allegations against a MACC director.The chairman of the MACC panel on prevention and consultation said the anti-graft agency risked losing public support if such complaints were not investigated in a transparent manner.“This (torture during detention) is entirely unacceptable because you cannot fight corruption if you don’t get public support,” Ramon  told The Malaysian Insider today.

“Public support will be lacking if there is the impression or perception that those arrested are badly treated. So, it is in the best interest of the MACC to clear this matter through open and transparent investigations with high integrity,” he said.Last night, former Sime Darby Engineering senior manager Mazhazmi Jamaludin accused MACC Special Operations director Datuk Mohd Jamidan Abdullah of assaulting him during investigations in a graft case.

Mazhazmi’s lawyer Shamsul Sulaiman told The Malaysian Insider that Jamidan had allegedly tortured his client to implicate the owner of a shipbuilding company in the alleged corruption.Mazhazmi lodged a police report in Putrajaya on his torture allegations.Earlier yesterday, Mazhazmi, 36, was charged in the Sessions Court here with receiving a RM200,000 bribe from MLC Shipbuilding Sdn Bhd owner, Redzuan Goh Mohammed Karian, on December 31, 2008 for allegedly proposing that the latter’s shipbuilding company obtain a US$134.2 million (RM416 million) contract from Sime Darby to construct and sell one lay barge as well as two tug and supply vessel hulls.

Mazhazmi claimed that Jamidan had ordered him to strip naked, blindfolded him and threatened to harm his private parts during detention on June 21 this year.Shamsul also said his client was allegedly kicked in the shins and slapped in the head during the interrogation, which lasted from day till night in an office on the seventh floor of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.Today, Ramon said that Mazhazmi’s complaint, if proven to be true, was “intolerable” and “totally unacceptable”.

“If it is investigated to be true, it is intolerable and there must be a full-scale redress,” said Ramon.
“If there is any element of truth in this complaint, the MACC must ... go all out to prosecute and punish him because this is totally unacceptable, where I am concerned or where the public is concerned,” added the economist.Ramon also said there should be surveillance during MACC investigations.

“I hope that the investigation in MACC has now got surveillance equipment so that all this will be on tape and recorded through film because we don’t want a repeat of previous cases,” he said.Mazhazmi’s torture allegations against the graft buster come just as an inquest into Teoh Beng Hock’s death approaches its end.
Last July 16, the political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, after being questioned overnight by the MACC at its then Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor of the same building.

The MACC promptly denied Mazhazmi’s allegations yesterday after his lawyer first brought up the matter during his court hearing in the morning.The MACC claimed Mazhazmi was taken to a clinic on June 22 before his release to ensure that he was not injured during the detention period.The anti-corruption agency also said there were no scars or wounds on Mazhazmi’s body, according to the doctor’s report.Today, MACC corporate communications deputy director Salim Sundar told The Malaysian Insider that the anti-graft body had already lodged a police report to deny Mazhazmi’s claims.

“As far as the MACC is concerned, the allegation is false,” said Salim.“In court, he (Mazhazmi) mentioned MACC officers. Now, he says Datuk Jamidan. Tomorrow, he can say something else. So we cannot dance to his music,” he added.Salim also said he could not confirm if the MACC would launch an internal inquiry into Mazhazmi’s allegations. “I don’t know yet. I have to find out,” he said.

Source : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/macc-panel-chief-demands-probe-into-torture-claims/

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