Monday 05 Jun 2023
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on January 10, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: No one will be prosecuted in connection with the viral sex videos allegedly implicating Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (pic), as identification could not be conclusively made based on facial recognition analysis, said Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.

The videos had been sent for authentication and face recognition analysis, both locally and abroad, Thomas said in a statement yesterday.

“CyberSecurity Malaysia concluded that while the videos were authentic, facial recognition could not be achieved due to poor resolution of the video recordings upon which such analysis were performed,” he said.

Following the inconclusive findings by CyberSecurity Malaysia, Thomas said the videos were then sent to be independently analysed by forensic experts in the US.

The police (PDRM) received the result of the second analysis in December 2019.

“This independent report confirmed CyberSecurity’s findings, among others, that “the inability to identify individuals in the viral videos is primarily due to the low resolution and quality of the three viral videos and the relatively few number of video frames in which the suspect is clearly visible”, Thomas said.

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

As such, Thomas said deputy public prosecutors had unanimously recommended to him that no charges be proffered in connection with the videos.

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

The sex videos, which went viral on social media in May, have been under the investigation of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and PDRM since June 13, 2019. The investigation was conducted under Sections 377B and 377D of the Penal Code following several police reports lodged by different individuals on the sex videos. Section 377B refers to the punishment for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature while Section 377D refers to outrages on decency.

“Many witnesses were interviewed by PDRM to ascertain the facts connected to the videos and there had been arrest and remands of some of these witnesses in connection with the investigation,” Thomas said. Following the circulation of the videos, former government aide in the ministry of primary industries and former PKR Santubong Youth chief Haziq Aziz had confessed to being one of the two men in the videos and claimed his partner was Mohamed Azmin.

In a statement yesterday, Mohamed Azmin maintained his innocence in the sex video scandal, claiming that it is just a political attack against his career.

“As I have consistently maintained from the beginning, this fitnah (slander) video is nothing but a nefarious plot to destroy my political career but while those intent on this vile scheme may plot and conspire, I have no doubt that justice will be done,” he said.

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