PM confirms RCI into probe judge’s claims (Updated)

21 Feb 2019 / 10:59 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe claims of judicial misconduct by several top judges, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today. The terms of reference of the RCI will be decided later.

Mahathir, who spoke to reporters during a visit to the Defence Ministry today, was responding to the call by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer for an RCI to investigate several judges for alleged misconduct.

Last week, Hamid filed an affidavit alleging that there was a scam involving some top judiciary officials colluding with private parties to defraud the government.

He alleged that nominees of certain politicians would sign contracts with the government and would later sue the government for reneging on those deals.

A consent judgement with an agreement to assess damages would then be obtained. This, he said, was illegal and unconstitutional.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had reportedly attempted to record a statement from Hamid in his chambers but the judge had declined to comply, maintaining that he would only speak to an RCI.

Hamid’s affidavit was filed in support of an application by Karpal Singh’s daughter Sangeet Kaur Deo to declare that the chief justice had failed to defend the integrity of the judiciary in two cases.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas as saying all court cases will proceed as scheduled and be decided by the courts as usual, despite the setting up of the RCI.

To suggest that court proceedings and the administration of justice should be put on hold pending the completion of the enquiry by the RCI was without any factual or legal basis, he said in a statement.

“Whilst the RCI is conducting its inquiry, cases before all the Courts will proceed as usual. All cases at all levels of our superior and subordinate courts would continue to be heard and determined by them.”

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