Why not verify RPK’s accusation first before announcing probe against judge? Group asks MACC

(MMO) – Civil group G25 today questioned if the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had thoroughly investigated the credibility of the claims made by fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin before acting against judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

In a statement, G25 said there would be massive repercussions on the integrity of Malaysia’s judiciary and its independence as a constitutional safeguard to uphold the rule of law should MACC move forward with the investigation.

“It must tread carefully so as not to cast aspersions on a Judge or to undermine public confidence in the Judiciary.

“In the first place, has MACC carried out a thorough investigation on the credibility of RPK’s allegation, before coming out with its media statement?” G25 asked, adding that it is pertinent to note that the judiciary has stated that it found no reason to suspect the integrity of the judge.

It said that any attempt by a government authority to overstep its function by ignoring the constitutional independence of the judiciary will have serious implications locally and internationally on Malaysia’s respect for the separation of powers among the three pillars of government — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

“MACC must not try to show off its power. By doing so, the MACC is destroying its own image as a trusted authority to deal with the corruption in the country,” it said.

It also expressed concern that MACC’s move to investigate the Court of Appeal judge will be seen as an attempt by the authorities to intimidate the judiciary for being too independent in making its judgment over disgraced former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Nazlan was the High Court judge who had heard former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the misappropriation of RM42 million of government-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, and is now a Court of Appeal judge.

The MACC recently said it had opened investigation papers as a report was officially lodged.

This came after blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin published blog posts against Nazlan.

Nazlan had recently lodged a police report which stated that Raja Petra’s April 20 blog post contained “false, baseless and malicious” allegations intended to interfere with the justice system and judiciary.

The recent online attacks against Nazlan as the SRC trial judge had started appearing more than one and a half years after his July 2020 verdict that found Najib guilty, or in other words just about three months after the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision on December 8 last year.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the judiciary was not beyond criticism but the public, including politicians, must not launch baseless attacks against judges and undermine confidence in the courts as part of their agenda.

MACC today however insisted that judges in the country too fall under the jurisdiction of civil servants and the regulating body has the power to investigate them for any alleged abuse of power.