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Informers Unprotected?

Informers’ identities ‘protected until hearings’

IPOH: Informers will have their identities protected until their cases come up in court where everything will be made public, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said yesterday.

He said once someone was charged, there would no longer be any secrecy.

“It’s open to the public. Everybody know who the witness and the source is.”

The names of police informers, which Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff alleged were leaked in charges against several CCID officers recently, were in the public domain as the case was brought to court, Nazri said after attending a Hari Raya gathering at the Perak ACA office here.

Nazri said he did not know where the leak came from, but denied that it was the fault of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

“I’m very confident that the ACA knows what they are doing because they have been in this business for a long time. They do not reveal their sources.”

“If there’s any leakage, it must be from some other (party).”

He said the ACA did not have any agenda except to combat corruption and urged the public to continue co-operating with it.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 5th November 2007 (link)

I am assuming that Nazri is talking about police informants – does he mean that if lets say a Mafia member leaks some information to the police, his name will be publicised and he will face reprisal in future? What a horrifying thought!

Now it is hard to comment on what Nazri said, because I am uncertain what laws govern the secrecy of police informer identities. Since the quote involves the ACA, let me quote from the Anti Corruption Act, which does have a section on protection of informers (who inform the ACA on corruption):

53. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any complaint made by an officer of the Agency states that the complaint is made in consequence of information received by the officer making the complaint, the information referred to in the complaint and the identity of the person from whom such information is received shall be secret between the officer who made the complaint and the person who gave the information, and everything contained in such information, the identity of the person who gave the information and all other circumstances relating to the information, including the place where it was given, shall not be disclosed or be ordered or required to be disclosed in any civil, criminal or other proceedings in any court, tribunal or other authority.

(2) If any book, paper or other document, or any visual or sound recording, or other matter or material which is given in evidence or liable to inspection in any civil, criminal or other proceedings in any court, tribunal or other authority as are referred to in subsection (1) contains an eny entry or other matter in which any person who gave the information is named or described or show, or which might lead to his discovery, the court before which the proceedings are held shall cause all such parts thereof or passages therein to be concealed from view or to be obliterated or otherwise removed so far as is necessary to protect such person from discovery.

So basically ACA informers should have their identities kept secret forever, by law. Something worth remembering.

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Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 2:22 am

Posted in Legal Matters, Local News

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