Copies of text messages between the office of the new Attorney General, Mohammed Apandi, and family members of the murdered public prosecutor, Kevin Morais, have been made available to Sarawak Report.
They reveal a series of shocking attempts by one of the AG’s own top officials to first bully and then bribe the family into cremating the body of Kevin Morais, before a second postmortem could be performed.
When these attempts failed, the messages show that this official, one of Apandi’s closest aids, issued a naked threat against Kevin’s brother Charles Morais:
“Any updates on Suresh [Charles]? Has he told u anytg (sic)? The [AG’s] chambers ur beginning to querie abt hm, they seem to know he is mischievous an has other motives, they have read everythg on him an believe he is staling (sic) Kevin’s cremation coz of other matters affecting him, he shld be careful if I was hm (sic)”
[message from AG’s Special Assistant, Mabel Muttiah, to brother Richard Morais 26/11/15] [Note *]
* SR received a complaint about this article in July 2018 to say that this particular text was not sent by the AG’s assistant Mabel Muttiah. SR therefore draws attention to this denial and is reviewing the matter. There has been no denial about the origin of other texts referred to.
Shortly after this sinister message, further texts show that the same senior aid to the Attorney General was directly involved in the conspiracy to unlawfully remove the body from the hospital morgue, behind the back of Kevin’s closest family members – cremating it on the very day that the courts had received the application for a second post mortem.
“He [Richard Morais] asked me to find out from you if you would join him [tomorrow] in getting the remains of Kev fr the mortuary. Thank you”
[Mabel Muttiah texting brother, David Morais, 16/11/15]
Such irregular interference by the very officials tasked with prosecuting this murder case raises serious questions about obstruction of justice on the part of the AG’s office itself.
The immediate concern is what motivated this determination of the new Attorney General to avoid a second, independent post-mortem, which had been demanded by the family according to their rights?
Morais was abducted on 4th September.
At the time, according to family and former colleagues, he was engaged in examining evidence relating to 1MDB and had been involved in drawing up charges against the Prime Minister himself, as part of the investigations launched by the previous Attorney General, who had already been sacked.
He was found twelve days later, submerged in a cement filled oil drum, after his car was discovered burnt out in a field with its identification numbers carefully erased.
The police rapidly arrested an army doctor and several alleged accomplices for the murder, in what was described as an “open and shut case” by the Inspector General of Police. The doctor stands accused of having commissioned the murder because Kevin refused to drop a bribery case against him.
However, the family immediately had concerns. According to the official post mortem, which has yet to be published because of the on-going case, the cause of Kevin’s death was considered to be “possible asphyxiation” and police earlier told the family that he had been strangled with his belt or neck tie and his hands tied behind his back.
But, there were no marks on the body and the neck bones were intact, say family members. Photographs seen by Sarawak Report show that, contrary to the police claims, his body was found with the hands free and in front of him, pointing to an entirely different cause of death.
Given the anomalies and the scant and uncertain details provided by the original post mortem (including a lack of any toxicology results) Kevin’s closest brother, Charles Morais, demanded a second post mortem on behalf of the majority of his family members, as was their legal right.
The family say that they then immediately found themselves subjected to extraordinary and intolerable pressure from officials in the AG’s office to waive this right and to cremate the body as soon as possible.
The leading voice in this matter was Mabel Muttiah, a former colleague who affected to be a close friend of Kevin’s, although Charles has said that Kevin had indicated that he never felt close to Mabel when alive.
Mabel had been promoted within the AG’s office to become the new Attorney General’s Special Assistant on August 3rd after the arrival of Apandi, according to her own Linked In page:
In this capacity Muttiah started sending indirect texts to Charles, through family members, criticising the decision not to immediately cremate Kevin, which would have destroyed the possibility of gaining more information into his actual cause of death.
On 22/09/15 Mabel texted a cousin “I would have done the funeral differently….” adding, entirely correctly, “but who am I only an outsider”.
Despite her own acknowledgement that she had no such right to interfere, this officer from the AG’s closest inner circle nevertheless started increasing her pressure on the family.
Was someone pressuring her in turn?
Her next text on the same day continued to badger – criticising the family’s decision to have a memorial service rather than cremating the body.
“I wd have named the funeral programme as A HERO’S JOURNEY BACK TO HOME SWEET HOME…. Bring the remains to Nirvana – hve the wake for that particular night and next day in a chapel setting hve the svs with the priest … singing they hymns and his favourite Amazing Grace.. followed by the reading of the scriptures and the message … a multi media show… eulogies and his final hour would be the coffin dripped in the AGC and Malaysian flag – then the cremation” bulldozed Mabel on 22nd September.
The messages only got worse, as Charles made clear he was sticking to his plan to bring an independent Australian expert to examine the body. Two days later Mabel was at it again, prodding the family that she had spoken to the police, as if they were not managing their own affairs in this respect:
“Btw I spoke to the police and they told me that the family of our late Kevin can claim his body anytime” [24.09.15]
Muttiah’s next message just ten minutes later proved how closely she was directly in touch with the Attorney General himself in these negotiations with the family:
“Message from the AG to me…. Speak to ACP Munu about COD [Cause of Death]”
Mabel received a firm reply from the family go-between:
“Thanks, but we still want to wait for the autopsy report”
Undeterred, Mabel was back badgering later that very evening and plainly at the behest of the highest authorities in her office:
“Please call ACP Munu at 10pm. He will give you and Charles all the explanation needed. Pls call and ask Charles to talk…. no harm…. I have passed all your concerns via Watsap to the AG, SG and the Chief of Staff. I am just like you all perplexed why all this is happening to dear Kevin” [21.38 pm 24/09/15]
And Mabel continued badgering on into the night. At 22.19 she texted again:
“Hve you all spoken to ACP Munu”?
Then at 22.38:
“Kindly call him….
Finally, when told the family did not want to make this call she started, late in the night, pressuring on another tack, which was the so-called “golden hand shake” that the AG’s office attempted to get Kevin’s three brothers to sign up to.
Whilst the senior brother, Charles Morais, attempted to stand firm over the family’s majority decision requesting a second post mortem, the AG’s office had started to approach his other brothers in an apparent attempt to exploit tensions within an already divided family.
They offered the three brothers a substantial sum of money, RM580,000 to be divided amongst them as an alleged “gratuity” to represent Kevin’s pension and ‘golden handshake’.
To receive it the AG’s officials made plain they wanted the three brothers to sign a ‘declaration’ to signal a settlement.
Charles had refused the money and his lawyer made plain that legally anything payable to Kevin ought not to be given to individuals but added to his estate and divided according to the terms of his will (a legality which the lawyers in the AG’s office ought to have been fully aware of).
In fact, it is highly questionable whether any such ‘pension’ should be legally payable out of public money to the brothers of the deceased, who was single.
Richard, on the other hand, was in favour of taking the cash, while David appeared to remain on the fence regarding all matters.
So, late on that night of 24th September, having been rejected on the matter of contacting the police to be reassured on the cause of death, Mabel started up about the money. At half past eleven at night she again texted:
“No problem dear. Don’t worry… BTW tomorrow there will be a presentation by TSAG to the rep of the family. I also to need see the 3 brothers to give them sample of Declaration to be prepared by the brothers for the gratuity, pension and golden hand shake. So hope to see u tomorrow.”
Sanctimoniously, she added:
“I alwz believe as public svt [servants] we shd provide assistance to the people.. but I don’t think than many people share that view…”
These dubious attempts by the AG’s office to offer the brothers money appears to have successfully orchestrated a division within the family, which they moved to exploit over the next few days.
Richard, who was already estranged from Kevin and Charles, was angry at the refusal to take the cash and started to increasingly cooperate with the wishes of the AG against his other brothers. In particular, this meant supporting the strange determination to have Kevin cremated before an independent autopsy could take place.
And who was separately texting Richard encouraging him to conspire against his brothers over this matter? None other than the AG’s right hand woman Mabel.
Two months after Mabel had told Charles “Okay I respect your decision” (not to take action until after a second post mortem), she was texting Richard that his brother should watch out for being a nuisance to her AG:
“Any updates on Suresh [Charles]? Has he told u anytg? The [AG’s] chambers ur beginning to querie abt hm, they seem to know he is mischievous an has other motives, they have read everythg on him an believe he is staling (sic) Kevin’s cremation coz of other matters affecting him, he shld be careful if I was hm” [text message from AG’s Special Assistant, Mabel Muttiah, to brother Richard Morais 26/11/15]
Astonishingly, Mabel had sent this text to Richard Morais, who has a long record of being in trouble with the law, in reply to an earlier text from himself, in which he made this chilling acknowledgement:
“I am a hardcore gangster and fear no one. I only fear my brother David. He knows every step of mine but I can’t read his steps” [26.11.15]
Instead of backing off after such a shocking confession, Mabel, an officer of the law, persevered with her engagement. This time she revealed a third prong to her ingratiating tactics as she tried to bring brother David into the same camp as the self-confessed gangster Richard, against the family’s majority wish for a second post-mortem.
Once again Mabel acted the loving best friend when she texted David from the AG’s office on 16th November to bring him in on the plot with Richard to remove Kevin’s body from the hospital, without the knowledge of his senior brother Charles and the rest of the family:
“Dearest darling Bro David. Just receivd message from Bro Richard. he wants to remove Kev’s remains and give a decent burial if time permits tomorrow. He asked me to find out from you if you would join him in getting the remains of Kev fr the mortuary. Thank you”
This shocking overture from the right hand officer to the AG proves that there was official involvement at the highest level in the conspiracy to cheat the Morais family of their right to an independent post mortem – a right that was filed in the courts (after weeks of obstruction by the AG’s office) on the very morning that the body was snatched from the mortuary.
However, Mabel and her colleagues were to be disappointed in their plan to entice the third brother into the conspiracy, presumably to lend further credibility to their actions. The supposed fence-sitter, David, did not want to be party to the deceit. He replied to Mabel firmly and correctly:
“This is a Morais family matter. You should run Richard’s request by Charles too, as he is the oldest. No one can act or decide on their own. The decision to collect Kevin’s remains must be unanimous amongst the brothers. it is not something that can be settle by a “show of hands” or a “quorum” [David Morais to Mabel 16.11.15]
Despite such a firm warning and rejection by David Morais, Mabel and the AG’s office went ahead with supporting Richard’s plans the following day.
Plainly backed by powers that be, Kevin’s estranged and renegade brother Richard was allowed to turn up unannounced at the hospital and claim the body. He then had it immediately burnt behind his family’s back, without any consent whatsoever.
Till this day Richard Morais is understood to be driving around with Kevin’s ashes in the back of his car, trying to come up with a solution over what to do with these remains.
This despicable act was achieved thanks to the support of the highest authorities and the craven failure of the hospital to insist that the correct parties should first be informed and give their consent.
It begs a single question: why?
Sarawak Report has several more copies of the texts from Mabel Muttiah to the Morais brothers, which show a sinister and suspicious agenda on the part of the Attorney General’s Office, plainly directed at driving the murder case of their former colleague Kevin Morais towards a certain outcome.
As Mabel made clear (below), the AG’s office had a view on who was responsible for the murder and appeared to be actively manoeuvring to prevent any new evidence that might upset a judgement over that scenario.
Instead of allowing the Morais family’s concerns to be allayed or substantiated by a second post mortem in search of the truth, Mabel Muttiah on 26th September had told the family:
“In Confidence… Frankly dear there is no foul play and that is why I wanted you all to speak to Munu… Kevin was MURDERED by the evil man Kuna not fit to be cald a doctor. Pls give the remains a proper burial. A fren who is very close to Kevin said aft attending Nirvana yesterday.. Mabel, Kevin will not like all this cos he is a simple man and that is why he didn’t come here… he wd hve preferred a simple church cvs and followed by burial…u still hve some time to consider before the 3/10 Pls dear, I can only plead..however, the final decision lies in the hands of the family”
In the end, however, after such pleading, emotional blackmail, bribery and threats failed to work, the final decision turned out not to remain with the family after all.
Mabel and her bosses conspired to achieve otherwise.
They went over the heads of the family’s wishes and encouraged one, self-confessed gangster member of that family to whisk the body from the hospital and get it cremated, seemingly in order to prevent their narrative of an “evil doctor” from being challenged by further evidence.
It promises to be an interesting trial.