Hornbill Unleashed

November 11, 2017

No legal basis for police probe on Ambiga, says lawyer

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

N-Surendran-Ambiga-Sreenevasan-court-gavel-1Lawyer N Surendran today slammed the police investigation against Ambiga Sreenevasan, saying it appeared to be “legally frivolous” and devoid of any basis in law or fact.

He said it was fundamental that a statement made by a litigant in a document filed in court cannot be made the subject of criminal investigation.

He added that the alleged statement over which Ambiga was being investigated was not even made by her.

“It is made by Clare Brown through her instructions to her solicitors for the purpose of court proceedings,” he said, referring to Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

“In Malaysian law, and the law of every other civilised country, no one can be accused of a criminal offence for an act or omission committed by another party. This is also simple logic, and basic fairness.”

The Padang Serai MP was responding to reports that Ambiga is being investigated for allegedly causing public alarm by purportedly disclosing information that PAS leaders had received money from Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The allegation came about after PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s defamation suit against Clare, filed at the London High Court in April following an article carried by The Sarawak Report on Aug 6 last year.

The article claimed RM90 million was “reckoned” to have entered the accounts of top PAS leaders to woo them into supporting Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Clare, who filed her defence and counter-claim to a suit in response to Hadi’s defamation suit, said she and Ambiga had spoken about Najib, 1MDB and PAS in July 2016.

“Ambiga had told the defendant that her sources, whom she said were reliable, had estimated the amount that had been paid was around RM90 million,” Clare said in her affidavit dated Oct 11.

Following Clare’s disclosure, Ambiga said she had been harassed by critics, many of whom were aligned with Hadi. She was also urged to apologise and to reveal her sources.

Surendran pointed out however that the alleged offence had arisen from court documents filed in the UK and was therefore not under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian police.

He said if Najib and Hadi were aggrieved as the parties implicated, they should raise the matter in the ongoing litigation in the UK.

He added that it was a civil dispute involving Hadi and Clare, and had nothing to do with criminal law.

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah also hit out at the “toxic politics” and harassment of Ambiga.

“I personally do not see what alarm has been raised in Malaysia through Clare Rewcastle’s defence when she named Ambiga as one of her witnesses,” she said.

She added that the issues in Clare’s defence were not new as they had been discussed in Malaysian courts.

“Let the UK court proceed and do not harass, threaten and tamper with the witnesses.

“Hands off Ambiga and let the truth prevail,” she said in a statement.

Source : The FMT Online


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