Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission accused of unlawful lawyer denial

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), a Malaysian lawyer group, has acknowledged that it is unlawful for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to deprive the public of their right to legal counsel during questioning. The group’s director, Zaid Malek, emphasised that MACC has no arbitrary right to disclaim the public authorized counsel in the course of the interrogation course of.
First is unfair, unlawful and unbefitting a key enforcement agency of a democratic nation,” Zaid Malek stated in a press release. He was responding to an announcement by MACC claiming it could deny the basic public legal counsel as it sees fit.
LFL has known as on the federal government to noticeably look at the administration of MACC and investigate the agency. According to Malek, the government has a responsibility to make sure all enforcement agencies, including MACC, respect the rule of law and the Federal Constitution.
“It is entirely dishonest for MACC to simply assume that as a legally empowered body that it means that it is going to or has adhered to the Federal Constitution,” he mentioned.
Malek highlighted the deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani whereas in MACC custody and without legal counsel throughout interrogation as evidence of the legitimate public concern.
LFL also said that the court docket choice cited by MACC relating to their proper to disclaim authorized counsel, within the case of “Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission & Ors v Latheefa Beebi Koya & Anor”, was deceptive.
“That court’s assertion almost about proper of counsel of witnesses under Article 5 was merely ‘obiter dictum’, an opinion that is not legally binding,” Malek mentioned.
He added that the only query determined by the Federal Court in the case was solely whether a notice beneath part 30(1)(a) of the MACC Act can be judicially reviewed.
“The case due to this fact can’t be used as an authority to disclaim proper to counsel beneath article 5 of the Federal Constitution for these referred to as for questioning or interrogation,” he said.
Malek additionally mentioned that the case of “Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid v MACC” that was quoted was irrelevant.
“MACC’s references to Sosma and different legal guidelines that limit access to legal counsel are equally nonsensical and irrelevant here,” he stated.
Furthermore, Malek pointed out that MACC didn’t tackle issues relating to the selective treatment given to necessary public figures in comparison with the average particular person.
“Nor does it tackle the illegal acts of intimidation by its officers against lawyers by threatening to report their statements as properly,” he said..

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