THE GREAT ACTOR OR NOT – APANDI BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS, SOBS – ‘I’M NOW SUBJECT TO IJN CHECK-UPS BECAUSE OF THE STRESS. THAT IS THE SACRIFICE I MADE BECAUSE THE POST OF AG IS NOT A PENSIONABLE POST’ – IN RM10 MIL DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST KIT SIANG – BUT SHOULD HE NOT BE ANGRY WITH NAJIB, WHOSE 1MDB SCANDAL PLUNGED MALAYSIA INTO WORLDWIDE INFAMY
Mohamed Apandi Ali was in tears at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today when recalling his tenure as the attorney-general (AG) from 2015 to 2018, during the trial of his defamation suit against DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang over an article on the 1MDB scandal.
He could not hold his emotions after responding to a question by his lawyer M Visvanathan on the third day of the trial before Judge Azimah Omar.
Answering his lawyer’s question over a foreign news article about the scandal which was raised by Lim’s lawyers yesterday, Apandi said the New York Times report appeared immediately after his (Apandi’s) press conference on Jan 26, 2016.
He then said that as the AG, he played the dual role of legal advisor to the government and the public prosecutor, and thus did not have much time to read local or foreign newspapers.
Apandi pointed out that as the legal advisor, his duty was not limited to the federal government but he was also the principal legal advisor for all the states in Malaysia.
“(In) my position as public prosecutor, there are thousands of investigation papers all over the country which of course I delegated to my officers in the respective states except for high-profile cases, meaning cases involving high-profile personalities; that’s how busy I was. I hardly managed to take any leave as this was not a ‘walk in the park’ job. It was definitely a heavy burden that has taken a toll on my health.
“I’m now subject to Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) check-ups because of the stress,” he added.
He said he was appointed as AG at 65 and did not clock the full number of years and months to receive a full pension.
“That is the sacrifice I have made because I was given the job of AG and the post of AG is not a pensionable post. It was a contract post; there is no pension attached to me.
“Thank you for allowing me to express (myself). I’ve been keeping this; people condemn me. Sorry, could not proceed,” he said with tears running down his cheeks while his lawyers tried to calm him down.
Apandi further said he never asked or lobbied to be the AG.
“I was functioning as a federal court judge looking forward to retiring when I was suddenly appointed as AG,” he said.
The court then took a one-hour break before Apandi continued with his testimony.
On July 5, 2019, Apandi sued Lim, claiming that on May 6, 2019, Lim had written and caused to be published an article titled “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia’s on the road to integrity” on Malaysiakini.
He claimed that the alleged libellous words in the article implied that he was involved in crime and had abetted in the 1MDB financial scandal, was a person with no morals and integrity, was unethical, and had abused his power when he was the AG.
Apandi, who was the AG from July 27, 2015 to June 4, 2018, contended that the libellous words were untrue and written with the intention of tarnishing his image and credibility as a former Malaysian AG for cheap publicity.
He is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as RM10 million in general damages, an injunction to prevent Lim and/or his agents from publishing the alleged defamatory words again, and other relief deemed fit by the court.
The hearing before Azimah continues tomorrow. – – Bernama
Apandi never pressured us to clear Najib over 1MDB, ex-DPP tells court
KUALA LUMPUR: A former deputy public prosecutor (DPP) told the High Court that the then attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali never pressured his officials to exonerate former prime minister Najib Razak in relation to the 1MDB scandal.
Testifying in Apandi’s lawsuit against DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, Muhamad Anas Mahadzir said Apandi only instructed him and another five DPPs to look into the investigation papers relating to 1MDB and brief him on their recommendations.
The other DPPs who were assigned to review the investigation papers were Dzulkifli Ahmad, Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, Noor Zalizan Lazarous, Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad and Nazran Mohd Sham.
“In fact he reminded us to be objective in perusing the IPs (investigation papers),” he said in response to a question from lawyer M Visvanathan on whether the DPPs were pressured by Apandi.
The former AG claimed Lim had defamed him in a 2019 statement, “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia is on the road to integrity”.
Apandi alleged that the Iskandar Puteri MP’s statement depicted him as someone immoral and unethical, without integrity, and who had practised double standards while holding the position of AG.
Anas said he and his former colleagues recommended that further investigations be undertaken in the 1MDB matter.
“We did not receive orders to close the IPs. And there were no elements of him aiding and abetting the former PM or 1MDB,” he said to a question on whether Lim’s claim that Apandi had “aided and abetted” Najib was true.
To a question by Lim’s lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo as to whether enforcement agencies had acted on the DPPs’ recommendation to carry out additional probes, Anas said he could not recall.
“As one of the DPPs, I was aware of the criticism against enforcement agencies on the way 1MDB was handled. It was also alleged that there were cover-ups by the administration,” he said, when asked about public criticism against the government agencies.
However, Anas said he and his former colleagues never attempted to cover-up 1MDB investigations.
The hearing continues before High Court Judge Azimah Omar on April 8. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY