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Royal Inquiry Urged Following Graft-Related Deaths in Malaysia

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TEHRAN, April 8 (ICANA) – Strong criticisms against the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency or MACC have emerged following the death of a customs officer whose body was found in an MACC building in Kuala Lumpur.
Friday, April 08, 2011 7:27:32 PM
Royal Inquiry Urged Following Graft-Related Deaths in Malaysia

56 year old Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed was taken into custody for alleged involvement in graft and money laundering and was among 62 officers who were arrested by a special task force of the MACC.

Human rights workers and opposition politicians have slammed the anti-corruption agency for its high-handed behavior and questionable interrogation methods.

They have also denounced MACC's suggestion that it would investigate the matter, saying the investigations would not be fair and credible.

This is the second death at the anti-corruption office following Teoh Beng Hock, a former aide to an opposition politician, who was found dead following an overnight interrogation.

His death sparked protests and candle light vigils, prompting prime minister Najib Tun Razak to set-up a Royal Commission of Inquiry, but an inquest hearing found reasons for his death inconclusive.

In the past, the Prime Minister has defended MACC saying they are carrying out investigations to stop corruption that was costing the nation a lot of money.

Malaysia's parliament also revealed that there has been a total of 1535 custodial deaths from 1998-2008.

But ruling political leaders say its too soon to accuse the anti-corruption commission of foul play.

Human rights workers and opposition politicians have called for the suspension of all the anti-corruption officers involved in the interrogation of the customs officer until investigations are completed.

Allegations of severe physical abuse during interrogation process in detention centers across the country has come under the spotlight recently. And therefore, human rights workers and civil society representatives have asked the Malaysian government to set-up an independent committee to monitor and provide a check and balance to curb custodial deaths in the country.

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