Malaysian PM bars top officials from probing Ibrahim

July 20th, 2008 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 20 (IANS) Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has barred two top officials from the probe against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, charged with sodomy, since the latter has accused them of complicity. Officials involved in the current probe against Ibrahim will not report to their bosses - Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail and Police Inspector General Musa Hasan, Badawi announced Saturday, the New Straits Times said.

Ibrahim last week said the two officials had faked evidence against him when the same charge was levelled against him in what was called the “black eye” ten years ago.

Badawi’s announcement came even as a probe by the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) is underway against the two in response to Ibrahim’s allegation.

Asked if Hasan and Patail should be suspended pending the completion of the investigation, Badawi said at a college function: “They will not be involved at all in the case and the investigating officers will also not refer to them. Therefore, I do not see any reason why they should be suspended.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Police chief Ismail Omar told the media Saturday that the police will not use the DNA sample collected from Ibrahim when he was prosecuted for sodomy charge in 1998.

Charged afresh with sodomy last month by Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a political aide, Ibrahim has refused consent to give DNA sample either to government authorities or to any foreign experts.

He has alleged that the probe would not be fair and that the samples could be tampered with.

Ibrahim’s consent was required under the law for securing DNA sample. However, some legal experts have opined and the government has indicated that it would get a court to order Ibrahim to cooperate, the New Straits Times said.

Responding to another allegation by Ibrahim that he was stripped naked during his medical examination, Kuala Lumpur Hospital Director Zaininah Mohammed Zain said it was not done, nor was it required.

“At no time throughout the examination was his decency violated,” she said.

The examination procedures were explained to Ibrahim by two specialists in the presence of his lawyer. “Only after having obtained his written consent did they proceed with the examination,” Zain said.

Ibrahim refused to give his blood sample for DNA testing. But he later spoke of his “embarrassment at being ordered to strip naked and ‘measured’ when he was taken to the hospital”.

“I was stripped naked and had my private parts examined. They also measured the parts,” he told media.

Ibrahim, who was sacked as deputy prime minister, prosecuted and jailed after the sodomy charge in 1998, was again haunted by the same charge last month.

He has denied the charge vehemently, terming it “a conspiracy” to keep him from contesting a by-election to return to parliament, where his wife leads an 82 member-opposition alliance.

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