No one should be prosecuted if investigation is incomplete, says Bung

No prosecution should be brought against any person based on an incomplete investigation, says Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.

(Jesselton Times) – Sabah UMNO Liaison Committee welcomes the High Court of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur’s decision on September 4, 2023, granting an order of discharge not amounting to an acquittal in respect of 47 charges relating to graft, breach of trust and money laundering against YAB Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, President of UMNO Malaysia.

We uphold and respect the said decision made by His Lordship Dato’ Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Judge of the Court of Appeal Malaysia (sitting as High Court Judge). It is essential to note that this discharge followed a rigorous evaluation process undertaken by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, in which they reviewed the 47 charges based upon the compelling rebuttal evidence presented by the Defence team of YAB Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during the trial.

We appreciate the Attorney-General’s Chambers for their integrity and diligence in handling this matter. Their decision to discontinue the criminal proceeding reflects the cardinal principle of criminal law that no prosecution should be brought against any person based on incomplete investigation.

It is crucial to highlight the guiding principle that a person should not be put in peril of a criminal trial unless the prosecution is able to prove the case against him. To do otherwise is an injustice. It is unjust primarily because of the social stigma that immediately attaches to a person once he is charged in court.

The accused becomes ostracized, often deserted by friends, facing embarrassment, and enduring mental torment while awaiting trial. This underscores the importance of complete and impartial investigations as the foundation of our justice system, ensuring that individuals are only charged when there is sufficient evidence against them.

The law exists not merely to punish but to ensure that justice is served, which can only occur if each party is granted a fair opportunity to present their case. Charging individuals based on incomplete investigations undermines this very foundation, eroding public trust in the judicial system and other institutions that are supposed to uphold the rule of law.

We also wish to note that the decision by the Attorney-General’s Chambers comes in the context of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) that will be formed to look into claims in former Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ controversial memoir, particularly on alleged selective prosecution.

This is a tacit acknowledgment that all prosecutions of UMNO politicians, including former Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, initiated by Tommy Thomas could possibly be tainted by malfeasance act. This further highlights the need for impartiality and due process in all legal proceedings, irrespective of the individuals involved, to uphold the rule of law.

We believe in the due process of law and the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. This recent development strengthens our confidence in the Malaysian judicial system and reiterates the importance of thorough investigation before pressing charges against any individual.