KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 – Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail categorically denied that his office had ever practiced giving special preference to any particular country, including the United States, particularly in the latest extradition battle of an Iranian VIP’s son.
Gani told the High Court judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin that there was no need interference from the US or his office but merely fulfilling Malaysia’s obligation on the extradition treaty between both countries.
The AG said this when responding to Iranian Sajad Farhadi’s counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that the Malaysian authorities should not be seen as over-pleasing the United States or bow to any international pressure on the matter.
However, he was rearrested by immigration officers in the courtroom which sparked strong objection from Shafee, following which the AG issued a statement that the arrest was lawful and consistent with the Immigration Act 1959/63, where he (Gani) clarified that Sajad was being detained to facilitate the department’s investigation for visa violation.
On Nov 11 last year, the Sessions Court had allowed an application by the prosecution to facilitate the Home Ministry to extradite Sajad to the US.
Sajad was wanted by the US authorities for more than 30 counts of violating the trade embargo against Iran, forgery and smuggling of goods at the Northern District of California.
In allowing the habeas corpus application last Friday, the high court ruled that the order issued by the lower court and the warrant of committal issued under Section 20 of the Extradition Act 1992 were not carried out with the applicable law and therefore Sajad was to be freed immediately.
During today’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup who represented the applicants submitted that the high court’s decision should be given a stay order pending an appeal at the Federal Court.
Manoj argued that Section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 57 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, enables the court to grant the stay.
Meanwhile, Shafee replied that the high court’s decision was final and the public prosecutor’s office cannot seek any review at the Federal Court.
He said both provisions cited by Manoj were not applicable in Sajad’s matter or any other habeas corpus applications.
“He was close to being castrated for nearly a year and half, nothing was done during that period. Now they (immigration officers) seem to have suddenly woke up from their slumber by re-arresting him,” contended Shafee.
Justice Mohd Azman set Aug 14 to deliver his decision on the application.