AG Explains Why Musa Aman's Charges Were Dropped

The unavailability of documents and former attorney general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's affidavit were among the reasons behind Musa Aman's acquittal.

Cover image via Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Idrus Harun has offered to explain the reason behind his decision to drop Musa Aman's 46 charges

On Tuesday, 9 June, the 30 counts of corruption and 16 counts of money laundering against former chief minister of Sabah Musa Haji Aman were dropped following instructions from the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC).

Later that day, AG Idrus explained his decision to withdraw the charges against Musa in a three-page statement, citing the unavailability of documents and witnesses.

Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman.

Image via The Borneo Post

"The withdrawal of the 46 criminal charges against Musa was due to the unattainability of documentary evidence and witnesses vital to the case," said AG Idrus, according to New Straits Times.

In particular, documents from associated companies and banks could not be attained through Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters from Hong Kong. 

This is partially because companies and banks in Hong Kong were advised by The Department of Justice to only keep records for seven years, according to a report by Malay Mail.  

Additionally, Idrus noted that they did not have access to some key witnesses who have either passed away, been diagnosed with serious ailments, or are outside of Malaysia. 

Department of Justice Hong Kong.

Image via Hong Kong e-Legislation

Former AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's affidavit was another factor leading to the dropping of charges

Idrus explained that Musa sent a representation to the AGC earlier this year, on 13 May, asking for the case against him to be withdrawn and all charges to be dropped. This prompted the AGC to review Musa's case. 

A report by Bernama noted that the AGC received the affidavit that was filed in the High Court by Musa on 5 June.

The affidavit affirms Abdul Gani's decision to not charge Musa in 2012 after concluding that the alleged corruptly-received funds were political donations.

Former attorney general Abdul Gani Patail.

Image via Mahaguru58/Blogspot

This decision was strengthened by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption's (ICAC) letter dated 22 December 2011. It stated that based on their completed investigation into the former chief minister of Sabah, no further investigative action would be taken.

According to Idrus, due to the lack of witnesses and documents, alongside the Affidavit in Support, it was no longer justifiable to prosecute Musa.

"It is no longer tenable to continue with the prosecution of Tan Sri Musa Aman," said the AG, according to Malay Mail.

However, lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla was quick to point out some contradictions in the AG's decision

Haniff Khatri, who called on Idrus to explain the acquittal of Musa early yesterday, pointed out that the AG's decision contradicts the previous findings of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).  

According to a report by Malaysiakini, the MACC's statement on 9 November 2018 mentioned that there were new developments to Musa's case, which led the agency to charge the former chief minister of Sabah.

Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Image via Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail

Idrus maintained that the lack of available documents and witnesses, as well as the former AG's affidavit had supported Musa's acquittal.

A report by Malay Mail reveals that the AG turned to Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution as further justification for his decision to drop all charges.  

Article 145(3) states that the attorney general has the powers exercisable at his discretion to initiate, conduct, or discontinue any criminal proceedings in the civil courts.

Read more on what Haniff Khatri had to say:

Musa Aman's acquittal of 46 charges was announced yesterday, 9 June. These are a few key moments that led to the decision:

Did you know Idrus grew up in a family of nine siblings? Here are more facts to know about the current AG:

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