By K Kabilan
PETALING JAYA: Popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin today offered to return home to face trial under the Official Secrets Act if the Najib administration was willing to prosecute PKR deputy president Azmin Ali for alleged corruption.
“If the Malaysian government launches prosecution against Azmin, then I will volunteer to return to Malaysia to face trial under the Official Secrets Act. That is my offer to the Malaysian government,” he told FMT today.
Raja Petra was referring to a police report lodged against him yesterday by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over his expose of confidential documents which showed that Azmin was investigated for corruption in 1995.
According to a Berita Harian report today, the police report was lodged at the Putrajaya police station last night.
The Malay daily also quoted MACC investigation director Mustafar Ali as saying that the MACC operations evaluation panel will look into the claims made by Raja Petra about the case against Azmin, and decide if the allegation should be investigated.
Raja Petra in his posting in Malaysia Today yesterday had revealed that the then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim had instructed the Anti-Corruption Agency (now the MACC) to stop the investigation against Azmin who was Anwar’s private secretary at that time.
Raja Petra said that he had in his possession documents pertaining the ACA investigation against Azmin, adding that the documents proved that Azmin was involved in graft.
However, he claimed that the then ACA director-general Shafee Yahaya had cold-storaged the case, stamping the file as ‘no further action’ (NFA) on Anwar’s alleged instruction.
Anwar is presently the de facto leader of PKR while Azmin is his deputy.
Launch an extradition application
Commenting on the police report lodged against him, Raja Petra today said he was willing to hand the entire file to the MACC so that they can ‘un-NFA’ the case.
“They can then proceed with the prosecution of Azmin for corruption like how they initially intended to do so 17 years ago before Anwar abused his authority by killing the case and burying the file,” he added.
He said that the Malaysian government could not extradite him from the UK for sedition and/or criminal defamation under the ‘dual criminality’ rule because these two laws were abolished in the UK on Jan 1, 2010. He however pointed out that the Official Secrets Act still remains.
“The MACC has made a police report against me. Either the documents on Azmin that I released are forgeries or they are genuine.
“Either way I would have committed a crime, the first would be fraud and the second an offence under the Official Secrets Act.
“If the documents are genuine, then the Malaysian government should say so and immediately launch an extradition application to bring me back to Malaysia to face trial,” he said.
Azmin: Who is RPK?
Azmin meanwhile was unavailable for comment despite numerous attempts made to contact him.
He however told another online portal that he would have been charged by the ACA 17 years ago if he was indeed corrupt as alleged by Raja Petra.
“Why should I explain to Raja Petra? Who is he? I’ve done my part, given full cooperation to the authorities 17 years ago and now you want me to repeat the same thing?” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.
He also questioned the timing of Raja Petra’s article, saying that it appeared to be an attempt “to distract Pakatan Rakyat leaders from their focus on the upcoming polls”.