Only divine intervention can assure justice for Anwar
Posted by: "Aliran" email@example.com
Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:22 pm (PST)
Aliran media statement
*Only divine intervention can assure justice for Anwar *
Anwar can forget about getting justice from the Malaysian judicial
system. Rules can be bent, rules can be ignored, rules can be overlooked
when it involves Anwar. This is what the man in the street is saying.
We witnessed this nauseating so-called judicial process in both the
trials concerning Anwar's sodomy and corruption trials in 1999. In the
first sodomy trial the charges were amended three times because the
authorities did not know the definite date to conclusively state when
the so-called sodomy was believed to have taken place then.
In the corruption trial, the presiding judge made it so difficult for
the defence to mount a serious challenge to the charge. The judge even
decided that he should be convinced of the relevance of the point before
the defence was allowed to question the prosecution witnesses. It was so
outrageously unjust that it led Malaysians to believe that Anwar had to
be convicted no matter what.
Are we witnessing a similar scenario in this instance where Anwar is on
trial for the second time charged with, of all things, another sodomy?
The way things are moving, it seems, only divine intervention can save
him from the injustice he is being subjected to.
Today's ruling (25 February 2010) by the Federal Court refusing to
review an earlier Federal Court decision has an unsettling effect on our
system of justice.
Solicitor general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had argued that the court
is not empowered to review its decision. A review can only (be) granted
if the applicant manages to prove that "there was an error in law" and
only in extremely rare cases is a review granted (Malaysian Insider).
There may not be "an error in law" but what course of remedy is open to
the litigant when there was an error in justice? When such error
involving justice is so apparent, should the court turn a blind eye to
We are made to understand that Rule 137 of the rules of the Federal
Court stipulates that the court had limited power to decide on a review
of its own decision "to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the
process of the court" (Malaysian Insider).
Is this the reason why the law is sometimes referred to as an ass? Does
this mean that an injustice and an abuse of the process of court can be
tolerated and condoned by the court? Is this what rule of law is all about?
Why is Anwar being denied the list of witnesses? Why is he denied
additional information and evidence which is so crucial to his defence?
Is it meant to crucify him by all means as many believe it to be?
Shouldn't the court, in all fairness, order this vital information be
given to him so that the three foreign experts who are here can advise
Anwar's team of lawyers as to how to counter the so-called evidence with
Strangely, the court has also ruled that in spite of the fact that there
was no penetration according to medical evidence, it will not dismiss
the case as there is other corroborating evidence to support the charge.
Normally, penetration is most crucial in the case of rape and sodomy. In
such an eventuality, other corroborating evidence may lend credence to
the charge but without any positive evidence of penetration what
credibility would this charge hold in any fair trial?
In the words of Lord Devlin, the court process "is to provide a
civilized method of settling disputes. It is ...to remove a sense of
Unfortunately, we have not witnessed this truth so far. The injustice
has not been removed by any stretch of the imagination.
25 February 2010