ACA: Dr Mahathir was never investigated
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had never investigated former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allegedly trying to interfere in its investigation of a senior official of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in 1998, ACA Director of Investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul said today. However, he said the allegation that Dr Mahathir had instructed the EPU senior official’s case to be closed was investigated by the police – and not the ACA, contrary to media reports today.
“These are two different cases. One is on the senior officer in the EPU who was investigated by us and the second on Tun Dr Mahathir allegedly instructing that the first case be closed.
“We only investigated the first case. The second allegation — the one made against Tun Dr Mahathir — was not investigated by the ACA but by the police at that time,” he told a press conference at the ACA headquarters here.
He said the ACA had conducted its investigation into the allegation of corruption of the EPU senior official and had forwarded the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which found inconsistencies in statements given by witnesses related to the case and thus closed the case in 2001.
With this clarification, Mohd Shukri said, the ACA hoped that the misconception that it was the ACA which investigated Dr Mahathir would be cleared.
“We have the complete investigation papers of our probe into the senior EPU official. The investigation into this case began in 1998 and ended in 2001.
And, as I have said earlier, the case was closed by the Attorney-General because there were inconsistencies in statements provided by witnesses and there was no supporting evidence.
“However, on our own initiative, we contacted Datuk Shafee Yahaya (the ACA director general at that time) to get more details on the allegation against Dr Mahathir and he told us that he had given his statement on the matter to the police,” Mohd Shukri said.
“Our investigation was on an allegation of corruption and not on interference in the investigation. I have not received any report lodged against Tun Dr Mahathir since I took over this post in 2006.
“I also wish to clarify that the ACA cannot meddle in the investigation by the police. Since that investigation was handled by the police, the Inspector General of Police would be able to shed light on the matter,” he added.
Mohd Shukri also said that since his appointment as director of investigations, he had never received any instruction from the prime minister to discontinue any ACA investigation on any case.
“Usually, once we open our investigation papers, there is nothing that can stop the investigation. The papers must be completed and sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Datuk Seri Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) has never instructed me to stop any investigation at any one time since I became the director of investigations,” he said, answering a question as to whether the present prime minister had issued any such instruction.
He said the ACA investigations were based on facts and hard evidence as once the investigation papers reached the Attorney-General’s Chambers, these would be vital if a person was charged for corruption.
On another note, he said that for the first quarter of this year (Jan-March), the ACA received 3,834 pieces of information related to corruption and, of this total, 357 investigation papers were opened.
“We arrested 145 people for related charges. The total net worth investigated was RM11.2 million. And for the same period, we seized property worth RM900,000 and forfeited property worth RM700,000 following court orders.
We also have RM700,000 forfeiture applications pending in court,” he said.
He said that of the 145 people arrested by the ACA, 72 were civil servants, 44 private sector workers and 29 members of the public. Of the 72 civil servants, 13 were senior government officers, he added.