10 Jan 2011

MACC to disclose AG probe details

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will disclose the outcome of its investigation on Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail during an upcoming panel operation evaluation meeting.
“The AG’s explanation during the recent dialogue session and his handing over of relevant documents have hastened the investigation process.“The outcome will be tabled in the meeting soon,” said MACC corporate communications officer Nurhasmah Mohamed Kassim on behalf of her department’s director, in a statement today.

The dialogue was held between Gani, MACC officers, its board and advisory panel on Jan 4.Nurhasmah said the AG also explained his recent trip to Mecca to perform the haj. “The dialogue was not a secret aside from the details of the cases discussed,” she added.On Nov 30, MACC panel member Robert Phang had urged Gani to clear the air over reports that he had made the pilgrimage with Shahidan Shafie, alleged to be a proxy of former MAS chairman Tajuddin Ramli, who is being probed for graft in connection with MasKargo operations in Europe.

Following the dialogue, MACC panel chairman Ramon Navaratnam said the commission was satisfied with the AG’s explanation and decided that it was unnecessary to probe his link with Shahidan.He also said that it was “irresponsible to allege that he (Gani) was in any way linked” to Shahidan.Phang subsequently hit out at Ramon, claiming that the latter’s views did not represent the entire panel and not all members were satisfied with Gani’s explanation.Phang’s views were supported by another panel member, Simon Sipaun.Tajuddin is currently facing investigations by MACC over MAS’ record loss of RM8 billion during his tenure. He was chairman from 1994 to 2001.

It was reported that the airline was forced to enter into a disadvantageous aircraft lease contract with a company linked to Tajuddin.The national carrier was losing between RM10 million and RM16 million from the deal up to the project’s termination when the government retook MAS under its control in 2001. This resulted in a RM300 million arbitration claim against the company.

‘Hesitant to prosecute’

Gani was also reported to have been hesitant to prosecute Tajuddin despite former federal commercial crimes department diretor Ramli Yussuf’s assurance in 2007 that several prosecutable offences had been identified.
Contacted yesterday, Ramon told FMT that he stood by what he said and as chairman, he was merely sharing his views of the general concensus during the meeting.“I am chairman of the panel, he (Phang) is a member of my panel, you can’t have everybody agreeing. My judgement and feel was that the rough majority concurred there was no case,” he said.Ramon said it would not have been transparent for him not to respond to the media’s queries on the outcome of the discussion

Source : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/01/07/macc-to-disclose-ag-probe-details/

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