Judge Who Convicted Najib For Corruption Is Now Under MACC Probe For "Unexplained" Money
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has reportedly opened an investigation into Court Of Appeal judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali over allegations of "unexplained" money in his account
MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki confirmed that an investigation paper has been opened after reports were lodged against the judge, according to a report in The Star earlier today, 23 April.
"Yes, we have started our investigation. The procedure is to investigate when a report has been officially lodged. We opened an investigation paper because there were reports lodged, not because claims were made on portals or social media," The Star quoted Azam Baki as saying.
The anti-corruption watchdog's chief commissioner said that his officers will decide to look for documents or summon individuals for questioning during the course of the investigation, which is still in the early stage.
The MACC probe against judge Nazlan comes after Malaysia Today author Raja Petra Kamarudin alleged that he has "unexplained" wealth
Raja Petra, in the blog post dated 19 April, alleged that Nazlan was being investigated for over RM1 million he allegedly received from 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low.
He also alleged that Judge Nazlan was "very much" part of the 1MDB money heist.
Mohd Nazlan was the judge who convicted former prime minister Najib Razak over the RM42 million SRC International corruption case two years ago. Since then, attempts have been made to discredit Nazlan.
He was a High Court judge at the time and was elevated to Court of Appeal judge on 3 February 2022. Prior to his elevation, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court's guilty verdict against Najib.
Following the allegations, Judge Nazlan lodged a police report on Thursday, 21 April, denying the accusations, which, he said were malicious, baseless, and aimed at tarnishing his credibility as a judge
The Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court said, Nazlan, in his police report stated that the accusations made in the post "intends to smear Nazlan's credibility as a Court of Appeal judge".
The judge urged the police to investigate the matter under Section 500 of the Penal Code for Defamation and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
"This Office views such accusations and comments seriously and reminds the public that accusations against the judiciary which are intended to interfere with cases that are still in the process of being heard, is a violation of the principle of sub judice," the statement said, adding that the judiciary urges the police to carry out investigations immediately to maintain public confidence towards Malaysia's judicial institution.
Back in July 2020, immediately after he convicted Najib for corruption, several rumours started to question the judge's credibility
Najib's supporters linked the judge to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. They accused him of being either the grandson or grandnephew of Mahathir. There is no truth to such rumours.
However, that hasn't stopped Najib and his legal team from trying to discredit Nazlan.
In March this year, Najib's lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah claimed that he recently found out that the judge allegedly played a role in a loan for 1MDB to acquire independent power producer Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd and as such he should have recused himself from hearing Najib's case.
Before his stint in the judiciary, Nazlan was a corporate figure and worked in Maybank as its company secretary and group general counsel when the bank issued loans to 1MDB in 2012.
However, despite Shafee's claims that he only just discovered Nazlan's previous corporate life in Maybank, this has been widely reported in the news since August 2018 and repeated again in 2020.
The attempts to discredit Nazlan continues as Najib hopes to secure a fresh trial.