Federal Court to hear application by lawyers, activist on legal questions over probe against judge Mohd Nazlan

KUALA LUMPUR – The Federal Court today set Nov 10 to hear an application by two lawyers and an activist to refer two questions of law regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation against Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

One of the questions is whether criminal investigation bodies, including the MACC,  are only legally allowed to investigate High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges who have been suspended under Article 125 (5) of the Federal Constitution.

The other is whether the public prosecutor is empowered to institute or conduct any proceedings for an offence against serving judges pursuant to Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

These legal questions were raised by lawyers Nur Ain Mustapa and Sreekant Pillai, as well as activist Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim in their originating suit against MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki, MACC and the Malaysian government seeking a declaration that the investigation conducted by MACC against Mohd Nazlan was unconstitutional.

Lawyer Wong Ming Yen, representing the three plaintiffs,  when contacted said, at the proceeding before High Court deputy registrar Firdaus Sidqi Sharil Azli today, the court set Nov 14 for case management.

Last July 19, the High Court allowed the application by the three individuals to refer the legal questions to the Federal Court after holding that the court was the right and appropriate forum to hear and decide legal questions that could affect the judiciary.

In the originating summons filed last May 6, the three plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the MACC has no right to investigate serving High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges unless they are suspended pursuant to Article 125 (5) of the Federal Constitution, or dismissed according to Article 125 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

They are also seeking a declaration that the public prosecutor is not authorised to initiate or conduct any proceedings for offences against serving court judges and a declaration that the investigation against Mohd Nazlan is unconstitutional.

In a supporting affidavit filed with the originating summons , the three plaintiffs stated the media had reported that the commission had commenced a probe against Mohd Nazlan over allegations of unexplained money in his account following official reports lodged with it on the matter.

They claimed that the purported investigation is a violation by the Executive branch of the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

Judge Mohd Nazlan, who heard and convicted former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over charges of misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, recently lodged a police report over news articles alleging that he was being investigated for unexplained money in his bank account. – Bernama / graphic TMR