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Solicitor General defends 'no delay in prosecution of graft cases' email

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will stick fast to the government’s directives so long as they are lawful, so that all the trials involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and other cases involving the “kleptocracy government” can commence as scheduled.

Solicitor General III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, in a media statement yesterday, said the AGC is part of the federal government’s machinery and therefore receives direction and instruction from the government.

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“The AGC will always adhere to the government’s directive and instruction so long as they are lawful and not against the federal constitution or any written law.

“Therefore, it is my duty, in my capacity as the Solicitor General III in charge of prosecution, to inform the DPPs (deputy public prosecutors) concerned of the directive by the government for the trial in respect of the above-mentioned cases to expedite in accordance to the scheduled dates,” he said.

Mohamad Hanafiah issued the statement in response to media reports over his email to the DPPs, which was supposed to be “an internal matter”, but had “found its way out and now within the public domain”.

“There have been public discussions on the contents of my e-mail regarding the prosecution of corruption cases that are awaiting trial at the courts,” he added.

He said the email was only addressed to the DPPs handling the trial of SRC, 1MDB and other cases involving the kleptocracy government.

“It was not addressed to anyone outside the AGC,” he said, adding that the content of his email was consistent with sub-section 172B(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code which stated that any trial shall commence not later than 90 days from the date of the accused being charged.

 “Similarly, the Attorney-General is also of the view that the cases must be expeditiously settled,” he added

Mohamad Hanafiah said his email was a reminder to the DPPs concerned that the cases must proceed as scheduled and that there should be no delay in conducting the cases.

“In this regard, the DPPs must be fully prepared and ever ready to proceed with the hearing of the cases according to the scheduled dates. Finally, I wish to state that the email is also a directive to the DPPs concerned that any application for postponement will be strictly opposed and that we will not agree to any request for postponement.

“However, we do take note that ultimately, it is for the trial judge to decide whether an adjournment is to be granted or not,” he said.

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