Najib to initiate contempt proceedings against anti-corruption commission and commissioner

Former prime minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak (left) and commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Latheefa Koya.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Razak will initiate contempt proceedings against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and its commissioner Latheefa Koya for releasing nine audio recordings implicating the former premier and other high ranking officials.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed this in a brief text message to The Star here on Monday (Jan 13).

No other details were disclosed but it was understood that the application would be ex-parte.

Last week, Shafee told the press that the MACC had committed sub judice and contempt of court by releasing the purported nine audio recordings implicating high-ranking officials to the public.

The senior lawyer, who is the lead defence counsel for Najib in his ongoing corruption trials relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said the defence was seriously contemplating a contempt action against the MACC, particularly its commissioner Latheefa Koya.

"Releasing the clips now and discussing in public is in fact sub judice. It is in fact a contempt.

"Was the MACC trying to influence and sub judice the ongoing trial?" he said.

On Jan 8, Latheefa released the recordings in a press conference, alleging "criminal conspiracy at the highest level".

The recordings are said to have taken place between Jan 5, 2016, and July 29, 2016.

The MACC said it received them anonymously just after New Year's Day.

Among other individuals which MACC identified in the audio recordings were former MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, and Najib's former principal private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh.

One of the conversations that was played was allegedly between Dzulkifli, who was then a prosecutor at the Attorney General's Chambers, with Najib.

Another one, MACC alleged, was of Rosmah and Najib, where she was heard expressing her displeasure over a certain matter related to MACC investigations.