a website dedicated to express views on topical legal issues, thereby generating a cross current of ideas on emerging matters
Monday, February 16, 2015
Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria who tarnish the image and dignity of the judiciary.
Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was Hindu for 2/3 of his life, then turn muslim for the obvious reason all can see, as common to all the likes,
Waiting for Shafee to make Anwar faint under cross examination. Did Anwar faint? Did Shafee pose any intelligent and hard question to Anwar? This fellow is arrogantly stupid
IGP,Investigete Shafie whether he gave lots of money to zahid to get the letter,If you have something to do with gambling, murder or political conspiracy, Who ya gonna call? (Muhammad Shafee!)If Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi can pen a support letter for an alleged gambling kingpin, why can't he give a proper mattress to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, asked Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.Judas Zahid betrayed Anwar and left him high and dry when Anwar came under the evil Mahathir's attack. He has since enriched himself tenfold.Phua connection will continue to haunt Zahid.We need a decisive action. We need the the Honorable Home Minister to respond to this reasonable and ethical demand by the Menteri Besar of Selangor. We need all honorable men and women in high office to not not walongt on the political-wayside and hope for the tide to receed. We need our conscience to confront and take postive action. Cabinet Members where are you? Judiciary where are you? IGP where are you? Leaders of Faith where are you?
Former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman said in his time or before that, lawyers appointed in the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) as prosecutors never “advertised” themselves to the media.
What the state did was legal but morally reprehensible.So desperate that Umno lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's spinning the word “conspiracy”.spinning and justifying, for the judges who have already decided using .
‘The sole purpose of nailing Anwar is because he was a political threat.’So it's now as clear as daylight that the case against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is indeed a political persecution.the existence of such a conspiracy or collusion, albeit legal, to only get Anwar convicted but not Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.Saiful was equally guilty of the same consensual act, he was not prosecuted but instead turned state witness for the sole purpose of nailing Anwar because Anwar was a political threat to the BN government.
Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria has issued a stern warning to the public that appropriate action will be taken against those who tarnish the image and dignity of the judiciary.
His warning came in the wake of criticisms levelled at the judiciary after the Federal Court last week upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in finding Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim guilty of sodomy.
Arifin said the judiciary was open to criticism but will not tolerate unfounded allegation in the social media and at public fo
"We view with seriousness such conduct and will not hesitate to act?'" he said in his speech during the elevation of four judges to superior courts at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya today.
Arifin said any baseless criticism against the bench would weaken the administration of justice and erode public confidence in the institution.
He said due to advancement in technology, many displayed their opinions and comments to what was happening around them in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
Arifin said their remarks had wide following although some were unjustified and could be questioned.
He said it was the responsibility of everyone to protect the image and dignity of the bench so that the administration of justice was unhindered.
"In this regard, I urge, especally the lawyers not to act in a way that they side step the rule of law to channel their dissatisfaction on court judgments," he added.
He said the public must also be careful and responsible in their opinions and comments on social media because of the wide repercussions.
Arifin, who last week led a five-man panel to uphol the conviction of Anwar for sodomy was coy when asked if committal proceeding will be instituted against the opposition leader for attacking the judiciary.
"That one I do not know. It is a different matter," Arifin told reporters after attending the elevation ceremony today of four judges to the superior courts.
Accordng to procedure, it is the judiciary that will have to begin proceedings since the incident happened in the court room.
He said he did not hear what Anwar uttered from the dock as he had suspended the proceeding.
"My approach is when what is uttered is not fair, I just adjourn the proceeding to calm the tense atmosphere. I did not bolt from the bench," he added.
He said he had no personal grudge against anyone and that he wanted to do his duty with utmost sincerety.
Anwar's outburst was witnessed by those in the packed court room before Arifin could decide on the sentence to be imposed.
Arifin, who delivered the 116-page judgment had earlier ruled that Anwar’ was guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
Anwar attacked the bench for "bowing to their political masters and becoming partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary".
Anwar told the bench there was something amiss when the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement barely minutes after his conviction was upheld.
"In bowing to political masters they have disgraced themselves and have become partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary," Anwar said, before Arifin asked lead defence counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to tell Anwar to stop.
But Sri Ram told Arifin that his client had the right to address the court, to which Arifin retorted, "yes, on the appeal but not to condemn the court".
But the opposition leader continued attacking the judiciary, adding "you had the opportunity to right the wrong but you chose to remain on the dark side".
At this juncture, Arifin and the rest of the bench members walked out.
Anwar continued to speak and shouted into the microphone: "I will again, for the third time, walk into prison but with my head held high.
"I will not be silent and will fight for freedom and justice and will never surrender," Anwar said.
The Federal Court’s 5-0 conviction of Anwar Ibrahim for Sodomy II on Tuesday, February 10, has lost in two higher courts – the court of opinion in Malaysia and the court of international opinion worldwide.
Tonight’s capacity-crowd turnout and the pain and sorrow felt by Malaysians in the past five days at the Federal Court’s dismissal of Anwar’s appeal and upholding the five-year jail sentence on the 67-year Parliamentary Opposition Leader are proof that Malaysians generally do not find any credibility in the the Federal Court’s verdict.
In the international court of opinion, Malaysia had been in the dock in the past week.
Malaysians should feel proud as Malaysians this year with the country starting its term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and Chairman of ASEAN, after a year when Malaysians dared not identify themselves in foreign countries that they were Malaysians because of the still-inexplicable disappearance catastrophe of MH 370 jetliner with 339 passengers and crew from 15 nations onboard, although we are less than a month from its ill-fated first anniversary.
In fact, this is the first time that the new generation of Malaysians had felt so small with the universal condemnation of the Federal Court decision, whether by the governments of United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland (which declared that it would raise Anwar’s jailing at the next meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva) and the European Union, or by international legal, parliamentary and human rights organizations like the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation for Human Rights, LAWASIA and the Law Council of Australia or by the world press like Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist.
Malaysians are therefore not alone in their rejection of the Federal Court decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal and to jail him for five years, as international condemnation of the Federal Court verdict is loud and clear on the world stage.
Anwar’s third incarceration forms a trio of cases in Malaysia where there is the most blatant and flagrant travesty of justice, the other two being the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the killing of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock on July 16, 2009.
I am still astounded that the “twitter” Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has yet to launch a thorough and wide-ranging inquiry to ascertain why two police commandos Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar of the elite police squad, the Special Action Unit (UTK), tasked with protecting people’s lives, had murdered in cold blood defenceless Altantuya Shaariibuu, blowing up her body in a jungle clearing with C4 explosives on Oct. 19, 2006, although their murder trial had ended with their conviction and death sentence.
Anwar ibrahim and PM Najib
The question that is inevitably asked inside the country and all over the world is who could be behind the two Bukit Aman Special Action Squad (UTK) cops’ C4 murder of Altantuya.
Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar had holed up in Australia in the past month, refusing to return to Malaysia to face the gallows.
Who can blame Sirul for refusing to return to Malaysia for his death sentence to be executed, if he had acted, however mistakenly, not as a “rogue policeman” but in the highest interest of the state on the instructions of his “patrons”
The case of Teoh Beng Hock, who was alleged to have committed suicide and jumped off the 14th floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Shah Alam on 16th July 2009 continues to cry out for justice – for he was clearly killed as there was no reason for him to commit suicide.
In July last year, our “twitter” Inspector-General of Police announced that the police will investigate me for “sedition” for my comment on the fifth death anniversary of Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) that Beng Hock had been murdered and that the killers were still at large.
It was fortunate that in September, the Court of Appeal agreed with me in its ruling that Teoh Beng Hock’s death was caused by persons or persons unknown, or I would have been hauled to court to face a “sedition” trial.
Obama and PM Najib
What can ordinary Malaysian do to seek justice in the Anwar Ibrahim case?
In fact, the fate of Anwar Ibrahim is now in the hands of ordinary Malaysians.
Although the highest court in the land have pronounced “guilty” and the five-year jail sentence on Anwar, the highest power in the land which practices parliamentary democracy are still the voters in the form of People Power.
If Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or region, are united to end the travesty of justice in the Anwar case, it is still open to them to free Anwar earlier from jail and to restore his civic rights, including fulfilling his destiny as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, through a clear-cut decision in the 14th General Election to vote out the UMNO/BN Federal Government in Putrajaya.
UMNO Lawyer Shafee should not attack Anwar Ibrahim after Court Verdict, says Ambiga
Shrugging off calls by UMNO lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to charge her with contempt of court for criticising the Judiciary, activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said he should instead reflect if his statements against Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have undermined the court system.
“I am not intimidated in the slightest by the call by Tan Sri Shafee for the A-G to charge me for contempt. I have no problems facing it if indeed it comes to pass that I am charged. Let the truth emerge,” she said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider today.
Shafee, who prosecuted for the government in Anwar’s sodomy appeal, was reported by Utusan Malaysia’s weekend edition as saying that Ambiga was wrong in saying that the Barisan Nasional (BN) had made a “terrible mistake” by jailing Anwar.
Such a statement had insulted the courts by implying that the Judiciary and BN, the coalition which is in federal power, were the same, Shafee told Mingguan Malaysia today.
“I suggest that the Attorney-General take action,” he was quoted as saying today.When such a remark is made, should we not answer? If we don’t answer, the people will believe it,” he told the UMNO-owned Malay daily.
Ambiga critcises UMNO Shafee Abdullah
Ambiga had on Friday criticised Shafee for continuing to attack Anwar even after the case had been settled with the Federal Court’s verdict on February 10. The Apex Court upheld his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence.
Ambiga had said that it was unprecedented for Shafee to attack an accused after the court had delivered its verdict. Since the verdict was issued, Shafee has been giving press statements and interviews to some media regarding the case.
In an interview with the UMNO-controlled The New Straits Times (NST) on Friday, the UMNO lawyer said if Anwar had taken the stand, the torrent of questions would have been so unrelenting that Anwar would have “fainted in the witness box”.
In Mingguan Malaysia today, Shafee also said he was willing to swear to Anwar’s guilt in a mosque or in Mecca. DAP legal bureau chairman Gobind Singh Deo today said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should stop Shafee from making further commentary and criticism on Anwar, or it would show that the A-G was going beyond what was required of him in law and ethics as a public prosecutor.
Ambiga said today Shafee’s “incessant” barrage of comments on Anwar were a disservice to the administration of justice and to the office of the Attorney-General.
“I have never seen the Attorney-General or anyone in his Chambers, do this. Whether or not these statements amount to a contempt, there is no doubt that the personal attacks on someone who is in jail and cannot defend himself, are contemptible,” she said.
She said this gave rise to some troubling questions, including the independence of the A-G’s Chambers. “How do these personal attacks on DSAI impinge on the independence of the Attorney-General’s Chambers in prosecuting the case? If the fiat has terminated, can Tan Sri continue to speak for the Chambers? Can he give instructions to the AG?” she asked.
Several interviews in national daily newspapers given by the lawyer- engaged as a prosecutor, Shafee Abdullah, have reignited the issues surrounding the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim.
In a rather brutal attack of Anwar, whom he helped put away for a 5-year jail term, Shafee implied that the accused would have been torn to shreds if he had testified, instead of giving his 'evidence' from the dock. He labelled him a ‘coward with something to hide’.
I do not recall any such condemnatory remarks being ever publicly made by the former lawyers from the Attorney General's Chambers who conducted the prosecution at the earlier two judicial tiers - the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Such statements seem to be at odds with established ethical standards - as applicable to lawyers appearing as defence counsel or for the prosecution.
Shafee was enlisted as a prosecutor only for this case - over the strenuous objections of Anwar's legal team. He remains a member of the legal profession and subject to the rules promulgated under the Legal Profession Act 1976. These Practice and Etiquette Rules 1978 have the force of law. One particularly relevant rule forbids lawyers from publicizing their feats. Rule 13 says that it is contrary to etiquette to solicit reporting of any matter in which a lawyer has been professionally engaged.
The rationale for this is to prevent lawyers with money, or connections, or both from advertising themselves; and securing an advantage over other lawyers. The Bar Council has in the past disciplined lawyers for infraction of this self-publicity rule.
Secondly, a lawyer acting in his capacity as a prosecutor is a custodian of the public interest, as represented by the Attorney General's Chambers. He is there to present the evidence in an even handed manner. The rules repeatedly make it clear that a lawyer is to act with fairness during a trial; not to insult or annoy witnesses with his questions. This must, perforce apply as well to situations after a trial.
It is not his role to overstate the case or seek vengeance, much less to savage an accused after he has been convicted. Shafee’s recent declaration that he is ready to swear to the guilt of the accused in a religious place is, with respect, way beyond a prosecutor’s professional brief.
Judicial history is replete with cases of miscarriages of justice occasioned by a prosecutor's failure to appreciate the ambit of his role. One such UK case was made famous by the award-winning movie 'In the Name of the Father' where convictions of 8 accused persons were set aside when it was discovered, quite fortuitously many years after the conviction, that an over- zealous prosecutor had concealed exonerating evidence from the court.
This is not to suggest for a moment that this case is similarly infected - although the defence maintains that it was precluded from presenting the full evidence on 'conspiracy'.
It is to emphasize that a prosecutor must at all times maintain a professional and equanimous stance in the conduct of a case. And this must be clear at all times - not just before and during a trial - but crucially even after a case is concluded.
The rather brutal assault of the convicted Anwar goes beyond a self-congratulatory proclamation by Shafee of his forensic brilliance ‘if Anwar took the stand’ - predicated on an entirely hypothetical situation. (The Rules also forbid lawyers from referring to facts that they are unable to prove.)
It could be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as manifesting an implacable hostility to an accused. It leaves the public guessing as to how much of this could have influenced the conduct of the case - wittingly or otherwise.
Already leading members of the Bar, including several past presidents, have deprecated such conduct.
Given the interest that this case has generated world-wide, would it not have been more prudent for this prosecutor to refrain from making comments which could needlessly erode the standing of the country and its judicial apparatus?