PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said former attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Idrus Harun was the one who insisted on seeking a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi before his final day in office.
According to Anwar, if it were up to him, he would have preferred a later court date after tomorrow’s Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections.
“Idrus was in favour of continuing the charges, but later, he read the new facts presented in the 200-plus-page (letter) of representation (sent by Zahid’s lawyers),” Anwar told reporters after attending Friday prayers at Masjid Jamek in Seri Petaling today (Sept 8).
“As the prime minister, I was aware of the repercussions (of the DNAA), and I had to discuss in length with the ex-AG the reasons and the timing behind the move.
“The AG (Idrus) said the earliest date the court could set was on Sept 4, and Sept 5 was his last day in office,” he clarified.
“He said he didn’t want to leave this responsibility to his successor. I cannot stop him, and I have read statements that are partly true and partly doubtful, and I have asked him for further clarifications.”
Anwar once again denied having a hand in the court’s decision to grant Zahid a DNAA in his Yayasan Akalbudi case.
“I myself sought an explanation from the AG. I don’t blame the people for seeking further explanation,” he said, adding that the presiding judge was satisfied with the 11 reasons put forward by the prosecution when it requested for the DNAA.
“The process is such. It’s unfair to persecute someone just because we like or don’t like a certain politician.
“As I have stressed before, all cases are different. A lot of cases (accused) have walked free, even before trial, or after.”
The Tambun MP further urged the people not to fall for incitement perpetuated by certain politicians.
“(These politicians) sometimes just say whatever they want. So, I recommend reading the AG’s motion to the judge in order to understand why the judge had eventually consented (to the DNAA). Some argue that the judge has no choice. That is not true,” he added.
On calls for the separation of the public prosecutor’s office from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), Anwar said efforts are ongoing.
He said a proposal paper had been presented to the Cabinet a few months ago for approval on separating the two offices.
“We have even referred it to a parliamentary committee, and it (the separation of the two offices) would cost a lot of money. (But) if it has to be done, then it will be done,” he stressed.
“Please don’t suggest that it has not been decided. This government has made a decision, but we cannot bulldoze it in a few weeks and we need a two-third’s majority to effect this reform.” – Sept 8, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim