Tengku Adnan’s discharge: Bar calls for answers from Attorney General’s Chambers

File photo: Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor Facebook

The Malaysian Bar stresses that the public has the right to know the detailed explanation behind discharge not amounting to acquittal applications or withdrawal of charges in matters pertaining to public interest. 

It was reported on 7 December 2020 that the High Court had granted the former Federal Territories minister, Tengku Adnan Mansor, a discharge not amounting to acquittal in relation to a RM1m corruption case, where he was charged under Section 24(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act.

The prosecution applied for a discharge not amounting to acquittal as there were apparently new developments in the case. The trial of Tengku Adnan was scheduled to resume on 7 December.

In light of the above, the Malaysian Bar calls on the Attorney General’s Chambers to provide the detailed grounds of this “new development” on which the discharge not amounting to acquittal application is premised on.

The application raises questions on the investigations at this stage, right before the resumption of Tengku Adnan’s trial. It is also very concerning that no timeframe on further investigating this “new development” has been provided.

We take the view that the public prosecutor, in the exercise of his constitutional powers and discretion to discontinue a prosecution in such a high-profile case, needs to provide valid, rational and cogent reasons for his decision.

The wide discretionary powers held by the public prosecutor in criminal proceedings must be comprehensively deliberated on and weighed against the rule of law.

The Malaysian Bar therefore stresses that the public has the right to know the detailed explanation behind discharge not amounting to acquittal applications or withdrawal of charges in matters pertaining to public interest. 

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Salim Bashir is president of the Malaysian Bar

This piece is reproduced from here and has been edited for style only.

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Khoo Soo Hay
Khoo Soo Hay
14 Dec 2020 12.54pm

Close the AG chambers. Retire the Judiciary. Send the Cabinet for a long holiday.
…appoint Rafiji to run the country. Pack all the corrupted politicians in a ship and set sail to the coast of Australia and dump the whole lot… Sorry, members of the Bar Council will also need to take a holiday during this time. This nation is not practising the real rule of law for the people.

c council will have take a holidayalso

loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
13 Dec 2020 1.03pm

Aliran should put the date at which the statement was issued.
In any case, I will give the Malaysian Bar the benefit of the doubt – that it had been quick off the mark to press for details from the AG Chambers.
There has been an ignoble silence from the AG Chambers ,sofar.
Let see if the Malaysian Bar’s call will get a response or not?