MACC to ap­peal rul­ing on Sec­tion 62

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) is set to ap­peal the rul­ing made by the Court of Ap­peal that Sec­tion 62 of the MACC Act is un­con­sti­tu­tional.

MACC said yes­ter­day its pros­e­cu­tors would file an ap­peal with the Fed­eral Court “as soon as pos­si­ble”.

“MACC wants to clar­ify that this de­ci­sion by the Court of Ap­peal does not af­fect the pros­e­cu­tion of Pe­nang Chief Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng and busi­ness­woman Phang Li Koon,” it said.

The com­mis­sion said it was con­fi­dent and con­sis­tent with any de­ci­sion made, and would con­tinue han­dling the case trans­par­ently, pro­fes­sion­ally and in ac­cor­dance with le­gal pro­ce­dures.

On Mon­day, the Court of Ap­peal ruled that Sec­tion 62 of the MACC Act was ultra vires when read against Ar­ti­cle 5(1) and 8(1) of the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion, and was thus un­con­sti­tu­tional.

Sec­tion 62 re­quires ac­cused per­sons to dis­close their de­fence state­ments to the pros­e­cu­tion be­fore the be­gin­ning of a trial.

How­ever, Ar­ti­cle 5(1) states that no per­son shall be de­prived of his life and per­sonal lib­erty, save in ac­cor­dance with the law, while Ar­ti­cle 8(1) states that all per­sons are en­ti­tled to equal pro­tec­tion un­der the law.

The de­ci­sion was made af­ter the court al­lowed ap­peals by Lim and Phang to de­clare Sec­tion 62 as un­con­sti­tu­tional in their cor­rup­tion cases.

On March 7, the High Court had dis­missed Lim and Phang’s ap­pli­ca­tion af­ter rul­ing that Sec­tion 62 of the MACC Act was con­sti­tu­tional and valid as it did not im­pede the ac­cused’s rights to a fair trial.

Lim pleaded not guilty to cor­rup­tion charges in re­la­tion to the con­ver­sion of land from agri­cul­tural to res­i­den­tial and the pur­chase of a plot of land and bun­ga­low at be­low-mar­ket price on June 30 last year.

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