By Lisa J. Ariffin
PUTRAJAYA, March 19 — Lawyers representing a key figure in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe of the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) today cried harassment after they were summoned as witnesses for having “sat with Datuk Shamsubahrin (Ismail) during questioning”.
Lawyers Latheefa Koya and Murnie Hidayah Anuar had accompanied former NFC consultant Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail to the MACC headquarters here today to have his statement recorded.
Shamsubahrin was previously charged for cheating National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh Ismail
“We were served notices which said that since we sat with Datuk Shamsubahrin during questioning, it makes us [witnesses],” Latheefa said today.
“This is the first time we have been served with a notice. We have always been harassed with threats to take our statements, but this is the first time they served a notice,” she explained.
She said the lawyers had not said anything during the session and “just sat with him (Shamsubahrin), and we did not interfere with the investigation.”
“We will definitely go to the Bar (Council) to lodge a complaint,” she added.
When asked of his opinion about his lawyers being summoned, Shamsubahrin said: “As far as I am concerned, this is not the right way to go about it.”
Shamsubahrin spent five hours at the MACC headquarters here, where he maintained he did not cheat Mohamad Salleh of RM1.76 million in consultancy fees.
Mohamad Salleh is the chairman of the NFCorp, which is at the centre of a scandal involving RM250 million in government loans.
“I have done nothing wrong to Datuk Seri Salleh, the NFC or the family of Datuk Seri Salleh,” he told reporters when met outside the MACC headquarters here.
“In fact, I am here as a witness for the MACC,” he added.
He will be tried at the Sessions Court on April 4.
Salleh, who is the husband to Cabinet member Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, was charged last Monday with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act after he allegedly used the cattle-rearing firm’s federal loan for personal expenses.
The NFC project in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, was awarded to the company in 2006 when Shahrizat was in Cabinet.
NFCorp hit the national headlines after it made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.