KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 16 high-profile cases were dropped by the Attorney-General between 2018 and 2023, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
In a Parliamentary written reply, she explained that Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution gives the Attorney General the discretion to decide whether to institute, conduct, or discontinue any proceedings for an offense.
“Out of these 16 cases, the court ordered the release and acquittal of 13 cases, and three cases were given a Discharge Not Amounting to An Acquittal under Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code,” she said.
Azalina was replying to a question from Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang (PN-Marang), who asked whether the government will give its assurance to not withdraw any high-profile cases currently being heard in court.
She added that the Attorney General’s Chambers may decide to withdraw high-profile cases after considering various factors.
Azalina said that this includes new developments in each case, representations made by defense counsel, the release and acquittal of the accused as a prosecution witness or the imposition of a fine on the accused instead.
“The Attorney General’s Chambers also emphasises that the decision to charge or drop charges against any individual is based on evidence and facts resulting from investigations,” said Azalina.
She added that all decisions are made in a fair manner and based on the information contained in the investigation papers.
“This is guided by the core principle of integrity to ensure that each victim, witness, the accused, and the general public will receive justice in line with the powers granted to the Attorney-General under Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution,” she said.
– The Star