KUALA LUMPUR: With the comeback of UMNO to power, many people are thinking that UMNO men on trial (such as former Prime Minister Najib Razak and former Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi) may have their criminal charges dropped by the new government.
However, UMNO secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa yesterday ensured that the new government ( which consists of Bersatu, UMNO, and PAS) will not drop any high-profile criminal case involving any party member.
He also urged all the ruling political parties to respect the independence of the judiciary and do not try to interfere in court affairs or manipulate the legal system with their political interests.
“Although the government has changed, the legal system functions as usual…therefore the executive branch cannot interfere.
“If we respect this concept there will be no worry.
“If we interfere by dropping cases of those charged, the people would say the government does not respect the law and the judicial body is not independent,” he told Bernama.
However, Annuar said politically motivated cases without solid evidence would be dismissed.
Constitutional law expert Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi told the SunDaily yesterday that under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, the attorney-general (AG) has the power to discontinue proceedings in the trials.
Asked whether those from Umno with criminal charges will be appointed in the new cabinet, he said: “I am confident the prime minister will use his wisdom and political experience to choose his cabinet line-up.”