Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Abuse of power: Anuar Ismail searched without a warrant. MACC MATI LAH

UPDATED @ 09:30:25 PM 21-03-2011
March 21, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — A senior anti-graft officer had abused his powers when he searched Ean Yong Hian Wah’s office without a warrant in 2009, the royal panel investigating Teoh Beng Hock’s death said today.
Commissioner Datuk T. Selventhiranathan lambasted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Anuar Ismail today for seizing documents from the Selangor executive councillor’s office on July 15 2009 without a written order from the Attorney-General.
“Section 31(3)... (of the MACC Act, 2009) is for emergencies,” said Selventhiranathan at the inquiry today.
“You can’t go and grab as you want. It’s an abuse of power. Anyone who goes to [a] law course and has common sense will know this is not an emergency,” he added.
Teoh was found dead the next day on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.
The anti-graft officers were investigating a claim that Teoh’s boss, Ean Yong, was abusing state funds in his Seri Kembangan constituency.
Selventhiranathan accused Anuar of “emasculating” the Attorney-General’s powers under Section 31(1) of the MACC Act, which states that anti-graft officers require written orders from the public prosecutor to search premises and seize documents.
“This is an ordinary case. You are virtually emasculating the public prosecutor’s powers under 31(1),” said Selventhiranathan.
“It goes against Parliament’s intention,” he added.
But Anuar, 34, said it was common practice for MACC officers to use section 31(3).
RCI chairman Tan Sri James Foong pointed out that section 31(3) should not be invoked unless there was reasonable cause to suspect concealment.
“In this case, the computer is here,” said Foong.
Anuar, dressed in a dark suit, said he and another anti-graft officer had examined a file on Ean Yong’s claims in 2008, after they met Teoh in his boss’s office at the state secretariat building.
Teoh, 30, was political secretary to Ean Yong, a Selangor executive councillor and Seri Kembangan assemblyman from the DAP.
Anuar also admitted that he did not fulfil section 31(1) of the MACC Act when he entered Ean Yong’s office.
“You have to follow from section 31(1) till (3)... you cannot exercise 31(3) straight off. It’s obvious,” Selventhiranathan told the lawyer by training.
Anuar, who said he entered the then Anti-Corruption Agency in 2005, also admitted to confiscating Teoh’s laptop and CPU under section 31(3) of the MACC Act.
“MACC has investigative powers. That’s what I told YB Ean,” said Anuar, who spoke in a low, hoarse voice due to a sore throat.
Anuar said the MACC had received a tip-off that Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblymen were abusing state funds.
Selangor MACC investigation unit head Hairul Ilham Hamzah testified earlier today that DAP Serdang had received cuts from government projects in the Seri Kembangan constituency.
Hairul also said Teoh received compensation totalling RM112 from a government payment to a company hired to organise an event in support of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok during her 2008 Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.
The inquiry resumes tomorrow.

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