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Soal siasat tuduhan rasuah Zulkipli bermula minggu depan

Inquiry into graft allegations next week
B. Suresh Ram

KUALA LUMPUR (March 12, 2007) - Five days after calling it off, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity yesterday decided to go ahead with its inquiry into Anti-Corruption Agency chief Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor.

Zulkipli's accuser, former Sabah ACA Chief Mohd Ramli Manan, will also be called to elaborate on his allegations against his ex-boss. The inquiry will be held on March 22, the 12-member select committee decided after meeting in Parliament House.

Last Thursday, committee chairman Tan Sri Bernard Dompok stated in a statement that due to developments in the case, the two men won't be called.

His decision came a day after Ramli filed a libel suit against Zulkipli and five others pertaining to letters sent to him by the ACA and other departments before his retirement. He claimed the letters defamed him and that as a result of these actions, his pension was not approved.

Dompok explained he had made the decision to call off the inquiry after consulting with some committee members. However, he said, there was an objection over the manner in which the decision was arrived at as the select committee did not convene.

"Therefore, I called a meeting today and called for each and every one to look at the subject matter seriously and decide whether we do indeed need to call them (Zulkipli and Ramli) before the committee," he said.

On whether the inquiry would be construed as sub judice in the light of Ramli's suit, Dompok said the majority view was that it would not.

A precedent was set last year when a parliamentary select committee called individuals to appear before it although a related court case was on-going. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) went ahead with its inquiry on the ECM Libra Bhd and Avenue Capital Resources Bhd merger despite a defamation case.

PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad had explained then that though the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order stated that a case before the courts could not be raised or commented on in Parliament, it however did not apply to the Parliamentary Select Committee. sun2surf

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