Refuting an allegation made yesterday in court, the former PM Najib Razak also dismissed earlier coverage by Sarawak Report, claiming that MACC chief Shukri Abdull had denied that the murdered prosecutor Kevin Morais had drawn up a charge sheet against Najib on behalf of the former Attorney General Gani Patail.
Najib was referring to a response given by Shukri to a press question in May when Shukri said “As far as I know Morais had nothing to do with 1MDB,” On that basis Najib claimed Sarawak report was wrong to say that Morais had drawn up the charge sheet (previously he had denied the charge sheet was genuine).
However, a former colleague who also worked closely with the former Attorney General has pointed out that Shukri’s comment was by no means an authoritative denial to be treated as proof by Najib, since the MACC chief made clear he had no particular reason to know who performed the work for the Attorny General, to whom Morais was ultimately accountable.
Although previously seconded to the MACC Morais had returned to the AG’s chambers where colleagues say he was one of the most trusted prosecutors:
There was only one prosecutor Gani trusted sufficiently to bring into his home to dictate work. Plus Kevin lived nearby. If Kevin Morais did any work for Gani, Shukri would not have known .. Should the AG give him personal (meaning Task Force) work, Kevin Morais could not disclose it to the MACC. The nature and type of work as his rank, salary, promotions etc were all payable by AGC.
The same ex-officer has told Sarawak Report they have reliable information that Kevin was in Gani’s house drawing up the charge sheets in the presence of some senior officers from the police force and other 1MDB task force personnel prior to Gani’s dismissal and that Morais distributed copies of those charges to these task force representatives.
It was these draft charges which Sarawak Report published shortly after the Najib government sacked Gani Patail, following which Kevin was kidnapped some five weeks later. Sarawak Report has not stated whether the two incidents were related, but to deny Kevin Morais was involved in drawing up the charge sheet on the basis of the comment from someone who did not have a particular reason to know appears deliberately misleading and an unnecessary intervention in the examination by the court.
The charges cited in those drafts have now been formally brought against Najib as part of the many current court proceedings against him, even though back in 2015 he had stated they were a lie and forged by Sarawak Report.
Former colleagues of Kevin Morais have suggested that a better question to put to Shukri at the MACC would be whether he can confirm that Kevin was in no way involved in drawing up those charge sheets for the Attorney General?
The person who is actually most qualified to answer, of course, is Gani Patail himself and Najib ought to wait on what the ex-AG has to say before insisting that Morais was in no way involved.
The purpose of the ex-prime minister’s attempt to dismiss Morais’s involvement appears to be to dispel any notion of a murder motive linked to covering up those charges against him. He may turn out to be correct, but surely, he would do better to allow the case to follow its course without attempting to interfere with the trial in this way so that the facts can be established and justice properly done?