Malaysia Dateline

Khairul Azwan Harun

Lawyer: Umno leader behind police report should be probed for false news

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan today said the police could investigate an Umno Youth leader for spreading false information, an offence under Section 182 of the Penal Code, following his police report against several prominent individuals over the 1MDB affair.

Syahredzan said this after after the police decided not to pursue a police report by Khairul Azwan Harun, in which he accused former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, and former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, of colluding with foreign agencies to topple the prime minister.

“I feel this is a most irresponsible action by a youth leader. Lodging a police report based on assumptions, without proves, forcing the police to close its investigation. It’s very disappointing,” said Syahredzan.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today announced the police would not investigate Azwan’s report.

“We recorded his statement and we found that he made the report based on assumptions. He could not provide any proof to substantiate his allegations.

“We cannot afford to go (ahead) based on assumptions,” he told reporters today.

Azwan had claimed that the three Tan Sris should be investigated for possibly providing classified information to foreign agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), without formal permission from the government.

This followed the US Department of Justice’s move to seize assets worth some US$1 billion linked to 1MDB following discovery by US authorities of widescale theft of funds from the Malaysian state company.

Putrajaya had prior to this classified an audit report on 1MDB by the Auditor-General, and last year scuttled investigations by MACC, Bank Negara and the attorney-general, following several damning findings said to have involved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The US report had named his step son Riza Aziz, but stopped short of naming Najib, and instead referred to a mysterious figure as “Malaysian Official 1”.

Syahredzan said now that the police confirmed Azwan’s report was based on assumptions, he could be investigated under Section 182 for the crime of spreading false information.

“I don’t want him to investigated or charged, but as a youth leader, he should be more responsible and cautious in his actions,” said the lawyer.

Najib and Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin had earlier distanced themselves from the police report, after heavy public backclash.