MACC orders counsels to give statements in NFC probe

(The Star) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe into the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) controversy took a twist when two lawyers of a key witness were summoned to become MACC witnesses.

Latheefa Koya and Murnie Hida-yah Anuar representing former NFC consultant Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail were issued a notice requesting them to give statements as witnesses in the MACC’s probe.

The notice said that both lawyers were required to give their statements under Section 16(b)(B) of the MACC Act 2009, the same provision used to take Shamsubahrin’s statement yesterday.

Both lawyers were part of a team of four lawyers accompanying Shamsubahrin when MACC recorded his statement as a witness in its probe into possible corruption in the NFC.

However, only Latheefa and Murnie took turns sitting in with Shamsubahrin during the five hours he was questioned by MACC officers only one lawyer was allowed to be present at any time.

Latheefa claimed that prior to the notice, they were approached by MACC officers who told them that they would be summoned to give statements as witnesses as they had sat in with Shamsubahrin while he gave his statement.

“We didn’t say anything. We just sat with him and we did not interfere with the investigation.

“This is the first time we have been served with such a notice … we will definitely go to the Bar (Council) to lodge a complaint,” she said.

The notices, which were served on both Latheefa and Murnie not long after Shamsubahrin finished giving his statement, required that both lawyers be present at the MACC headquarters on Friday at 11am.

Last December, Shamsubahrin claimed trial in the Sessions Court to two counts of cheating NFCorp executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

He later lodged a police report in January alleging that Mohamad Salleh had pressured him to bribe the police to cover up the company’s scandal.

He then handed over a mobile phone alleged to contain text messages between him and Mohamad Salleh and transcripts of the messages to the MACC earlier this month as evidence to back his claims.