Anwar Ibrahim’s Quest for Freedom denied by Federal Court

December 14, 2016

Anwar Ibrahim’s Quest for Freedom denied by Federal Court

by Hafidz Yatim

This outcome is not unexpected because our Judiciary is not independent.  Out of the window goes our system of checks and balances when the Executive Branch overpowers our Judiciary and Parliament (the Legislative branch), and the Rule of Law is absent.

As my friend  Stanford University’s Dr. David Cohen said at a seminar at The University of Cambodia Human Rights Forum a few days ago that without the Rule of Law a citizen is denied Justice. “The Rule of Law is the foundation of Human Rights and good governance is an essential element of the Rule of Law.”–Din Merican

The Federal  Court today dismissed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s review of the Sodomy II conviction and sentence. With this, Anwar, formerly Malaysia’s opposition leader, is expected to remain in jail until mid-2018.

Image result for Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin

Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin

The Five-member bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin ruled there was no bias or procedural unfairnes in the decision of the previous Federal Court panel.

On the issue of the premature and swift response from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Sodomy II verdict on February 10 last year, Justice Zulkefli said while the statement, as argued by the appellant, had given the public the impression that Anwar did not receive a fair and independent hearing, the court took the view it was not within the control of the court to stop the issuance of the statement.

“As a separate branch of the government, the Judiciary and the courts operate independently in their decision-making process, with no interference from other branches of government.There has to exist a clear separation of powers between the judiciary and the other two arms of the government in order to uphold the rule of law,” he said.

Ruling further that there was no merit in the allegation that the statement was issued prematurely, he added this did not fall under the ambit of Rule 137 (that allowed a review).

“There is no evidence to show that there was any communication whatsoever between the PMO and the Federal Court, either prior or subsequent to the decision on the case,” Justice Zulkefli said in the unanimous decision.

The other judges were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, along with Federal court judges Hasan Lah, Abu Samah Nordin and Zaharah Ibrahim.

However Justice Malanjum was not on the bench today as he had to attend the funeral of a relative who had passed away.

Shafee’s conduct no bearing on outcome

The Federal Court also dismissed the questioning of the conduct of senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who led the prosecution team in the Sodomy II appeals in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, by Anwar’s lawyers.

Image result for Shafee Abdullah

Justice Zulkefli said while the appellant contended that Shafee’s speech at a roadshow had tainted the prosecutor’s office in conducting the trial fairly, the court was of the view that the alleged misconduct, if any, had no bearing on the outcome of the decision of the Federal Court.

“We noted there is no evidence furnished or averment of any sort made by the applicant to suggest that this alleged misconduct of the lead prosecutor had influenced the decision of the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015,” he said. The judge further cited Shafee’s appointment as prosecutor by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

On the earlier Federal Court’s judgment by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, which made mention of previous sodomy incidents that had been ruled as expunged by the High Court, Justice Zulkefli said this issue of misevaluation of evidence, improper direction and non-direction of the trial judge were not within the permitted circumstances that the court could exercise its inherent jurisdiction to review.

“We would like to state on this issue now raised before us that we found that it was not raised before the Federal Court. It is for this reason that we think the Federal Court did not address this point at all and hence no reason was given on the issue of the admission or rejection of the alleged inadmissible evidence,” he said.

On the issue of complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan not bringing the lubricant KY Jelly, the Federal Court said according to the record of proceedings in the High Court, it was dealt with extensively by both the defence and the prosecution.

Justice Zulkefli said the earlier judgment by the Federal Court court held there was no conclusive proof that KY Jelly had spilled on the carpet and it was of the view that the carpet was not a critical piece of evidence to the prosecution’s case. “It is therefore our judgment that this issue of KY Jelly raised by the applicant is a non-issue and it had not caused injustice to the applicant,” he said.

While Anwar’s defence team maintained the integrity of the crime scene was compromised as Saiful had claimed the incident took place on the carpet in Unit 11-5-1, whereas the carpet was found in Unit 11-5-2, the court held that it could not accept the argument as the earlier panel ruled the issue of how the carpet was moved was not critical to the prosecution’s case.

“We do not think that we should look into what that other compelling evidence was as found by the Federal Court,” Justice Zulkefli said.

The court also ruled there was no merit to Anwar’s defence contention that there was a break in the chain of evidence, saying there was no serious injustice in the chain of custody of the exhibits.

“For the above reasons, we find there is no merit in the application and this is not a fit and proper case for the court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction to make any order for the case to be reviewed,” Justice Zulkefli said.

8 thoughts on “Anwar Ibrahim’s Quest for Freedom denied by Federal Court

  1. Sorry for Anwar; they want to extend his stay as His Majesty The Agong’s guest in Sungei Buloh until 2018. Justice is denied to the man because they are afraid of what he would do to them when he is the PM. Tok Cik and Orang Malaya apa sudah jadi in Malaysia ni? –Din Merican

    Just relax with this:

  2. Malaysia has all the trappings of democracy but it’s not a democratic country, same with its claim of rule of law but for certain individuals, they never get justice.
    Yang Ariffs can’t seem to provide real justice as they are beholden to their political masters and can thus be labeled as Justice Carma (cari makan). Their tenure are short lived and right now there are so many retired Appeals Court judges and Federal Court judges.

    The situation is the work of Che Det and Ah Jib Gor is enjoying the privileges much to the chargin of old man MM. nothing is going to change or get any better unless and until Malaysia have a new government. While other countries are progressing, Malaysia continue to back slide and soon become a has been country.

  3. The political and personal conduct arguments was never going to fly in our politicised judiciary and legal system. The facts of the case against Anwar should have failed on its own.

    The fact Najib is stealing again and risking ties with Myanmar for political gains shows he is moving on but Anwar respond to his big challenge of PAS dysfunctionality is cries of democracy, does not give hope.

  4. How many sodomy cases have been tried in courts in Malaysia and of those tried how many have been vehemently pursued by the AGC? Why is the government throwing everything in pursuing Anwar’s sodomy trial and not treating the other cases with equal gusto? Judges should take this into consideration to ensure tha justice is meted our fairly and equally. There should not be disparity in the sentencing of sodomy cases, otherwise there is no justice.

    In appeals the higher courts reserve the rights to enhance the sentence or even reduce or reverse the decision if it deemed that the lower court had been too harsh. Obviously this is not the case and sad to note that the panel of judges didn’t see it fit to intervene or at least one or more judge to dissent. Flock mentality and further create the impression that this is a for show trial since the PMO,was,quick to,issue a statement at the appeal to the Federal Court stage.
    Semper Fi,

    The A-G Chambers including that Apandi fella, and the Judiciary are full of fawning A-Holes and that is why there is no justice for Malaysian citizens. That is the reason why Dr David Cohen of Stanford University said recently that if there is no Rule of Law, there is no justice. A simple and concise statement but it is full of meaning.–Din Merican

  5. If this is just an ordinary case involving a 60 plus year old man allegedly sodomizing an ordinary non-consenting 20 plus year old healthy heterosexual man who had not had a meeting with the PM and who happened to carry a tube of lubricating jelly on that crucial day, I wonder the Federal Court would say what it did say with a straight face.

    Blaming Mahathir is not helpful as each individual PM can act in any contrary manner, as Trump is now doing or going to do to undo all of Obama’s policies and actions.

    So for Najib’s supporters to say that he is merely following or carrying-on where Mahathir left off is not exonerating the former but actually discrediting and dishonoring him. But then of course credibility and honor are no longer relevant in the politics of survival and avoiding jail time.

  6. Apa nak buat, Pak Din? Nasi dah jadi bubur. There’s a sense of hoplessness in the air and, like you, l have given up. This bountiful country has gone to the dogs. I hope it’ll not become another Egypt or Libya. And should that happen l dont really know where I’ll head for. Perhaps Chiangmai or Chiangrai.

  7. Methinks the Oppo is totally and unreservedly anally fixated on Anwar.

    Although, i would be the first to agree that he has the charisma, intellect and goodwill to lead Malusia to a better future and agree without reservation, that there was and is a miscarriage of justice – the Oppo must concentrate on issues plaguing the country right now – especially with regards to the ongoing kleptocracy, ethnic discordance and political opportunism. Don’t dream of the future, when you can’t even live today nor get past the obstacle course.

    How can we move on with our arse stuck on just One name? Surely there are others that can take his place in the interim?

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