MACC: No constitutional right to lawyer presence during questioning

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has stated that legal professionals don’t possess a constitutional right to be present during the questioning of their shoppers. This statement comes in response to accusations by rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), which claimed that the MACC was restricting access to a consumer. MACC deputy director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin cited legal precedents supporting the suspension of the constitutional proper for arrested people to consult their lawyer.
Wan Shaharuddin referred to the case of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission & Ors v Latheefa Beebi Koya & Anor (2017) 5 MLJ 349, stating that not everyone known as in for an MACC investigation is underneath arrest. He clarified that the court’s judgement on this case confirmed that witnesses having their statements recorded aren’t entitled to legal representation, as they are not suspects, arrested individuals, or unlawfully detained individuals.
“Under the MACC Act 2009, there is no specific provision that grants the right to have a lawyer present in the course of the recording of a statement in the middle of an investigation. While it permits the accused person to have a authorized practitioner present during an examination beneath oath, it doesn’t explicitly grant the proper to legal representation throughout different forms of interrogation or questioning,” he mentioned.
Wan Shaharuddin also cited the case of Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid v MACC and the Government of Malaysia, noting that the Court of Appeal discovered the best to legal illustration during an investigation could also be suspended in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, corresponding to when it obstructs the progress of an ongoing investigation.
Professional is essential to notice that the absence of a specific provision allowing lawyers to be present in the course of the recording of statements does not mean that authorized representation is totally prohibited in the course of the investigation course of. In conclusion, the statement by the LFL does not reflect the precise actions taken by the MACC in making certain the safety of the rights of individuals who are arrested in accordance with the provisions of the law,” he added..

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