Kit Siang says he did not agree with 2017 Federal Court decision to dismiss appeals over ex-AG's handling of 1MDB

TheEdge Fri, Apr 09, 2021 04:04pm - 4 weeks ago

KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang told the High Court today that he did not agree with the Federal Court's 2017 decision to dismiss three appeals for leave to challenge then Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision to close an investigation related to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s alleged wrongdoing in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.

Testifying in the hearing of a defamation suit brought against him by Apandi over an article written by the veteran politician on May 6, 2019 — in which he urged the former AG to explain why he "aided and abetted the 1MDB scandal" — Kit Siang said that while he did not agree with the court’s decision, he did not take any legal remedies such as initiating a judicial review to challenge the decision.

Kit Siang was under cross-examination today by Apandi’s lawyer M Visvanathan who read excerpts from the 2017 judgement.

Visvanathan: Are you now suggesting that the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court were wrong [in their decisions]?  The learnt judge in the case said that there was no need for any investigation; it must be emphasised that the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) was free to open investigations on new evidence received.

Kit Siang I don’t agree with that.

Visvanathan: You would agree that the decisions state affirmatively that the AG’s decision to close the investigation does not mean that it is closed. This was the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court's decision in 2017.

Kit Siang: I do not agree.

Visvanathan: You don’t agree? Are you suggesting even the courts were aiding and abetting the 1MDB scandal?

Kit Siang: No. I didn’t say that. I would say that I don’t agree.

In 2017, a three-man Federal Court bench led by then Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif made the unanimous decision after hearing submissions from both the defence and the prosecution team.

The three appellants — former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, the Malaysian Bar and former Cabinet minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim — were seeking leave to challenge the former AG’s decision on the 1MDB issue which Kit Siang claimed he “aided and abetted”.

Visvanathan also asked Kit Siang why he did not make a police report if he felt that Apandi had committed the crime of aiding and abetting, to which Kit Siang replied that the AG must be accountable to the people.

Visvanathan then said that Kit Siang was not “bold enough” to make a report because he knew Apandi did not commit a crime.

The lawyer also asked the Iskandar Puteri Member of Parliament (MP) why he did not personally write to Apandi seeking clarification before writing the article.

Visvanathan: For an MP like you, wouldn't it be better for you to write to him officially to demand an explanation? If the [former] AG fails to do so, you can take it up later.

Kit Siang: With due respect, I don't agree.

The trial is before High Court Judge Datuk Azimah Omar and will continue with Kit Siang still on the witness stand when it resumes on June 21 and 23.

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