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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bravo Bar Council

None of the 25 lawyers being pursued by police for alleged criminal breach of trust involving tens of millions of ringgit has contacted the Bar Council for advice or information.

Council president S. Ambiga said since the announcement was made by police on Saturday, none of them had contacted the council which found that most of the lawyers named by the police were not in the country.

"Of the 25 lawyers, there is only one who is still practising, and some of them may have absconded overseas," she said at a press conference at the council's office here today.

Ambiga, who was responding to media queries on the issue of the 25 lawyers, said after the police announcement, the Bar Council went to the said legal firms and found that most of the firms were closed.

However, she said, the council could not comment too much on the issue since the police were still investigating the cases and "they are not guilty until their cases have been heard in court".

Ambiga who welcomed the move taken by the police, said it helped to step up efforts to curb dishonesty within the legal fraternity.

"From 1981 until now, 233 lawyers in the country have been struck off the roll after they were found guilty of serious offences such as criminal breach of trust under the Legal Profession Act 1976," she said.

"According to the Act, lawyers who have been struck off the roll will be prohibited from practising but they have a choice to file an appeal to the court.

"Besides that, their certificate of legal profession will also be suspended by the Bar Council's Disciplinary Board," she added - Bernama.