KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has no power to record statements from lawyers accompanying their clients during questioning, a High Court here held Wednesday.
High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Zaleha Yusof granted an order to quash MACC’s notices dated March 19 last year which demanded that two lawyers be present to record statements for investigations into a bribery case.

The notices were issued against lawyers Latheefa Beebi Koya and Murnie Hidayah Anuar by MACC assistant superintendant Suziana Ali, in relation to the National Feedlot Corporation case.

Justice Zaleha ruled that the notices were wrong, invalid, could not be enforced and an abuse of power under the MACC Act 2009.

She said the issuance of notices was clearly intimidation, abuse of the process and was also an attempt to get privileged information.

“It is an act of direct interference with the lawyers exercising their duty to their clients,” she said.

Justice Zaleha, however, did not make any order as to costs after their lead counsel R. Sivarasa said they did not apply for costs in view that it was a matter of public interest.

Senior Federal Counsel Effandi Nazila Abdullah said he would get instructions from the Attorney-General whether to appeal against the court ruling.
-By M. MAGESWARI, The Star, 30 January 2012