Questions over MACC-lawyer link to Bala’s second SD

Zaid noted the apparent conflict of the lawyer preparing Balasubramaniam’s second declaration to also be on the MACC panel that later reviews it. — File pic 

(TMI) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was today dragged into a row over questions surrounding a lawyer on its operations panel who is alleged to have drafted private investigator P. Balasubramaniam’s controversial second sworn statement on the 2006 death of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim suggested today that a key member of the MACC’s five check-and-balance mechanism responsible for closing the file on the case may have had a direct hand in doing so, fuelling questions on the extent of a possible cover-up into the explosive crime that has put two elite police commandos on death row and sent the private investigator into exile.

The lawyer-turned-politician wrote in his blog that both the Attorney-General and the MACC have “conveniently refused to investigate the allegations made by the private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, who apparently got the information from Abdul Razak Baginda, and whose claims have been corroborated by carpet merchant Deepak Jaikishan”.

He reminded Malaysians that Balasubramaniam ― popularly known as PI Bala ― had made a second statutory declaration (SD) cancelling his first sworn statement made a day earlier that the police had suppressed key evidence.

“This second declaration was prepared by a well-known lawyer whom he did not know. Deepak named this famous lawyer in an interview with Harakah.

“If one probes a little further, one will find that the same famous lawyer sits as a member of the MACC’s operations review panel,” Zaid, a one-time de facto law minister during the Abdullah administration, wrote.

However, he stopped short of naming the lawyer.

“It was this panel that decided there was no evidence to investigate the allegations made by either Bala or Deepak,” Zaid added.

Lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu, who represents the private detective now in hiding, told The Malaysian Insider when contacted that Balasubramaniam had never told him the identity of the lawyer as the latter was unaware of the person’s occupation.

However, he said the identity of the lawyer could be found out easily from the MACC’s website, which lists eight people as members of its Operations Review Panel.

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