No prosecution over sex videos scandal, says AG

The 2nd analysis by forensic experts in the US confirms the findings by CSM that facial recognition could not be achieved

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by BLOOMBERG

THE Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has decided not to prosecute anyone in connection with the sex videos allegedly involving a minister, as the identities of the two men in the videos could not be ascertained.

Tan Sri Tommy Thomas (picture) said in a statement yesterday that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) received the results of the second analysis by forensic experts in the US in December, which confirmed the previous findings by CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM).

The second analysis stated that the inability to identify the individuals in the videos was due to low resolution, quality and limited number of video frames where the suspect were clearly visible.

“In these circumstances and upon reviewing evidence as presently gathered and submitted by PDRM to AGC, my deputy public prosecutors unanimously recommended to me that no charges be proffered in connection with the videos.

“I have accepted their recommendations and have decided not to prosecute any person. Consistent with our normal practice, investigations may be reopened if and when new evidence becomes available,” said Thomas.

CSM previously concluded that the videos were authentic, but facial recognition could not be achieved due to its poor resolution.

Thomas said various reasons have led to the delay in the completion of the investigation, primarily the length of time involved before forensic reports were finalised.

“In the course of an investigation, the due process of law must be observed, and procedures and technical requirements for proper forensic analysis must be complied with.

“This includes working within governmental constraints and procedures to secure additional funding approval to enable PDRM to complete its investigations,” he said.

Thomas said statements recorded by the police, documentary evidence gathered and the forensic analysis all form parts of the investigation papers that were directed to the AGC for decision.

Thomas added that his office and PDRM have worked very closely in reviewing the investigation papers on the videos since June 13 last year.

“Numerous discussions were held to review the evidence gathered by PDRM at appropriate stages of investigation, and several instructions for further investigation were issued to PDRM to ensure the sufficiency of evidence before any prosecutorial decision can be made,” he said.

Investigations were conducted under Sections 377B and 377D of the Penal Code after several police reports were lodged by different individuals on the issue.

He also said PDRM had interviewed many witnesses to verify the facts in relation to the videos, and arrest and remand of some of the witnesses in connection with the investigation have been made.

“Separately, PDRM also received an unsolicited analysis report on the videos from a private individual. This report also confirmed the findings of the other two reports mentioned above, that identification could not be conclusively made based on facial recognition analysis,” he added.

The videos, which allegedly implicated Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, went viral in June last year after they were widely circulated among members of the media by unknown sources through a WhatsApp group.

A day after the first video was circulated, former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz made a public confession and admitted being one of the men in the clip and accused Azmin to be the other.

Azmin had denied the allegations of his involvement in the videos and said it was an attempt to destroy his political career.