Ex-top cop says public funds abused in lawyer’s appointment

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KUALA LUMPUR: Retired policeman Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim called on the Cabinet yesterday to look into the alleged misuse of public funds to pay Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his “unlawful” appointment as the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in the sodomy case next week.

In a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday, the former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief said Shafee’s appointment was unlawful as he was under probe for allegedly giving false evidence in an affidavit.

“The agreement to pay for Shafee’s services, no matter the amount agreed upon, is under the jurisdiction of the finance minister alone and public funds must not be used.

Mat Zain said the Attoney General’s Chambers (AGC) had issued an order to probe Shafee on Jan 3, after he lodged three police reports against the Umno lawyer last year over the affidavit.

Mat Zain said the order to investigate had been concealed from those involved in Anwar’s March 6 and 7 sodomy hearing, and that the A-G had simply allowed Shafee to continue leading the prosecution team at that time.

He said it would take less than five months for the investigations to be completed, yet there had been no word of the outcome.

“It’s clear that concealing the order of investigation from the relevant quarters and the [appeals] court was deliberate and deceptive, and has tainted the judicial process.

“Shafee’s attempts to swear on a statement that was untrue or false in his affidavit and to use it in the court proceedings are dishonest, especially since he is being paid by the public.

“Hence, you could say that Shafee maintained his position as counsel on behalf of the public prosecutor through unlawful means,” said Mat Zain.

He said the government had refused to disclose the sum paid to Shafee on the grounds that it was to “respect the professional ties and confidentiality between the employer and the employee”.

Mat Zain said he only knew of the order to investigate Shafee’s affidavits on May 19 when police approached him to record his statement.

Anwar filed the application to remove Shafee last Dec 6, based on the claims in Mat Zain’s statutory declaration (SD) made public a few days earlier.

Mat Zain, in his 31-page SD, said he went with Shafee and former Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datul Ramli Yusof to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s house during Hari Raya last year, during which they allegedly discussed the wrongdoings of Gani. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 21, 2014.