KUALA LUMPUR : Former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan never named Najib Razak in his police report as a person allegedly involved in 1MDB wrongdoing, a witness told the High Court here.
Dang Wangi district deputy police chief Habibi Manjiji said this under cross-examination by lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla in the hearing of Khairuddin’s lawsuit against the government, claiming wrongful detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) six years ago.
Haniff pointed out to the witness that in Khairuddin’s report, the 1MDB critic only mentioned that he wanted the authorities to initiate a probe against 1MDB and individuals involved in its business transactions. Habibi agreed with him.
The witness also told the court that on Sept 24, 2015 investigating officer Muniandy Chelliah brought Khairuddin to face him for an inquiry. The inquiry was called by the police, seeking to hold Khairuddin for 28 days under Sosma.
Habibi said he was satisfied with Muniandy’s explanation that the investigating team needed time to obtain evidence from other countries for Khairuddin’s case, and thus signed the 28-day detention order.
Haniff then asked him if Muniandy mentioned which countries the investigating team were seeking documents from.
“There are also media reports at the material time which say the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer Bahri Mohammad Zin had complained about ‘interference’ in the 1MDB investigations,” he added. Bahri was the former director of special operations at MACC.
In response, Habibi said Muniandy only provided him with the information verbally after the 28-day detention was ordered.
“Do you agree that based on Muniandy’s explanation and issues surrounding 1MDB six years ago, there is a chance you might not have signed the 28-day order?
“Be reminded that foreign countries had begun their 1MDB related-investigations,” Haniff asked.
Habibi then said: “There is a chance I may not have granted the 28 days if the information was relayed to me during the inquiry”.
However, during re-examination by federal counsel Mohd Ashraf Abd Hamid, Habibi said the 28-day detention was justified based on Muniandy’s reasoning.
The court also heard testimony from deputy public prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud. The DPP told the court that he was tasked to handle the prosecution when Khairuddin and his then lawyer Mattias Chang were taken before the magistrates’ court on Oct 12, 2015 to face a charge under Section 124L of the Penal Code.
Masri said the High Court granted bail for the duo in 2015, and subsequently transferred their case to the sessions court.
In May 2018, Khairuddin filed a suit against Bukit Aman officers Wan Aeidil Wan Abdullah and C Muniandy; Habibi Majinji and then IGP Khalid Abu Bakar seeking damages for unlawful detention. Also named as defendants were deputy public prosecutor Masri, senior federal counsel Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud, then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali and the government of Malaysia.
Khairuddin alleged that he had been detained on Sept 18, 2015 under the Penal Code. After being released, he was rearrested under Sosma on Sept 23 and kept in detention before being charged on allegations of attempting to sabotage the country’s banking and financial services.
Khairuddin, a former Batu Kawan Umno division chief, alleged that the actions against him were conducted with malicious intent and violated his right to freedom and tarnished his reputation and image as a politician.
The trial will continue before judicial commissioner Quay Chew Soon on a date to be fixed later.
By : Ho Kit Yen – FMT