Beh Lih YiOct 26,
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has challenged a notice from the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to compel him to hand in the original 14-minute ‘Lingam tape’ or face action. In his affidavit filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court this afternoon, Anwar wanted the ACA notice to be set aside as he claimed the notice issued to him was “bad in law and a nullity”.
“Clearly, the issuance of this order is a direct threat to my personal freedom and a violation of my constitutional rights,” he stated in the seven-page document. “Since the order has no legal basis for its issuance, I believe it is politically motivated,” Anwar added.
The ACA however has denied the claim in a press statement yesterday. Anwar’s affidavit was filed through his lawyer William Leong, who is also the opposition party’s treasurer. On Monday, Anwar was slapped with the notice, issued to him under Section 22 of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 to compel him to hand in the original, full video clip by yesterday.
As the deadline expired yesterday, Anwar did not hand in the tape after a scheduled meeting for the ACA officers to pick up the clip was cancelled by the agency at the eleventh hour.
The ACA however has argued Anwar should go to the agency’s office to do so instead. ‘Irrational, unreasonable’ notice In his affidavit, the ex-deputy premier cited three grounds to challenge the ACA notice. He argued the issuance of the notice was “irrational and unreasonable” as he could not deliver something which was not in his possession.
He said he had explained to the ACA that the original clip was with the two whistleblowers. Hence, he argued that manner of the ACA to issue him with the notice was done in bad faith.
“The manner of its issuance by the (ACA) knowing full well that I had just confirmed that I did not have the original recording being demanded shows mala fide on its part,” he stated.
Anwar, who was also instrumental in the enactment of the ACA Act, also argued Section 22 was wrongly invoked by the ACA as the section was meant to compel people suspected of corruption offences to surrender evidence, not on the informants.
“In this instance, contrary to the intention of Parliament and the Act, such powers are being abused here in an attempt to harass and intimidate me as a person who had voluntarily disclosed the alleged corruption offences as part of my public duties,” he said.