An investigation has been conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into Court Of Appeal judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali over allegations of “unexplained” money in his account.
According to The Star, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki confirmed that an investigation paper has been opened after reports were lodged against the judge.
“Yes, we have started our investigation. The procedure is to investigate when a report has been officially lodged. We opened an investigation paper because there were reports lodged, not because claims were made on portals or social media,” he said.
This comes after Malaysia Today author Raja Petra Kamarudin alleged that Judge Nazlan has “unexplained” wealth of RM1 million, which he claimed to be received from 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low.
The report also alleged that Judge Nazlan was “very much” part of the 1MDB money heist.
Judge Nazlan was also the judge who convicted former prime minister Najib Razak over the RM42 million SRC International corruption case 2 years ago. Since then, attempts have been made to discredit Nazlan.
He was a High Court judge at the time and was elevated to Court of Appeal judge on 3 February 2022.
Prior to his elevation, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the High Court’s guilty verdict against Najib.
Meanwhile, Judge Nazlan has lodged a police report on Thursday (21 April) and has denied such accusations, while claiming they were malicious, baseless, and aimed at tarnishing his credibility as a judge.
The Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court has also responded to the incident and said the accusations made in the post “intends to smear Nazlan’s credibility as a Court of Appeal judge”.
The judge urged the police to investigate the matter under Section 500 of the Penal Code for Defamation and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“This Office views such accusations and comments seriously and reminds the public that accusations against the judiciary which are intended to interfere with cases that are still in the process of being heard, is a violation of the principle of sub judice,” the Office said.
In July 2020, right after Judge Nazlan convicted Najib for corruption, several rumours of his credibility had went on circulating. Najib’s supports had linked the judge to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, accusing him of being either the grandson or grandnephew of Mahathir.
However, this accusation was proven not true. Following that, there had been several attempts from Najib and his legal team to discredit Judge Nazlan.
In March this year, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah claimed that he recently found out that the judge allegedly played a role in a loan for 1MDB to acquire independent power producer Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd and as such he should have recused himself from hearing Najib’s case.
Before joining the judiciary, Nazlan was a corporate figure and he worked in Maybank as its company secretary and group general counsel when the bank issued loans to 1MDB in 2012.
Despite Shafee’s claims that he only just discovered Nazlan’s previous corporate life in Maybank, this has been widely reported in the news since August 2018 and repeated again in 2020.
Nonetheless, the attempts to discredit Nazlan continues as Najib hopes to secure a fresh trial.