KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 19): The Federal Court will hear arguments on two questions of law regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation against Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on Nov 10, in a suit brought by two lawyers and an activist.
The two questions are on whether criminal investigation bodies including the MACC are only legally permitted to investigate High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges who have been suspended under Article 125 (5) of the Federal Constitution, and 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.
Lawyers Nur Ain Mustapa and Sreekant Pillai, as well as activist Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim, filed an originating summons this year, among others, to refer the two questions to the Federal Court, and to seek a declaration that the investigation conducted by the MACC against Nazlan is unconstitutional.
The three are represented by law firm Messrs Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
Lawyer Wong Ming Yen, acting on behalf of the three, told The Edge on Wednesday (Oct 19) that the Federal Court had fixed the date for the hearing during case management on Aug 22.
Wong and her colleague Khoo Suk Chyi appeared before the High Court on Wednesday to set a case management on Nov 14, after the Federal Court hearing.
This is part of the trio's larger suit against the MACC, the anti-graft agency's chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and the Government.
In the originating summons filed on May 6, the plaintiffs were also seeking a declaration that the MACC's investigation into Nazlan is unconstitutional.
The MACC said it began the investigation following complaints it received against the sitting judge. The investigation, which started in March this year, was completed, and investigation papers were sent to the Attorney General's Chambers on May 18 for the next course of action.
The investigation has drawn flak from many quarters, including the Malaysian Bar, Opposition leaders, and civil groups. The MACC has maintained that it is empowered to conduct such investigations.
As a High Court judge previously, Nazlan presided over Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd criminal trial, and found the former prime minister guilty on all seven charges. Nazlan was elevated to the Court of Appeal in February.