Bersih launches petition to separate AG, public prosecutor roles – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Bersih has launched an online petition, calling on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and all MPs to separate the role of the public prosecutor from that of the attorney-general (AG) before the next general election (GE15).
The AG is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister. He is, therefore, a political appointee and serves as the legal adviser to the King, the prime minister, and the Cabinet, the electoral reform group said.
It pointed out that currently, the AG also serves as the public prosecutor, and has the power to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, at his discretion.
“This is a conflict of interest and this has led to allegations of political interference through selective prosecution and immunity, non-pursuance of existing charges, and withdrawal of charges for those aligned with the government,” it said in a statement.
Bersih urged for the public prosecutor’s role to be carried out by a separate person, independently appointed by the King through a transparent process free from the prime minister’s influence.
“The AG should remain as the government’s legal adviser on the advice of the prime minister, and have no role in any judicial matters.”
On Saturday, Bersih called for the roles of the public prosecutor and AG to be separated, citing the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ establishment of a working committee to study the separation of the two roles last year.
This comes after the uproar following the court verdict on the Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim graft case. The Baling MP was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) following a request by the deputy public prosecutor on Sept 23 to allow for new leads to be investigated.
Bersih said this shows the necessity of having the prosecution office independent from the AG.
Last Friday, the Kuala Lumpur sessions court granted Azeez a DNAA after he submitted representations to withdraw the three corruption charges and six money laundering charges he was facing.
Azeez was charged in 2019 with accepting bribes amounting to RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah.
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