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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hands off Anwar’s trial, Karpal warns detractor

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:56 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Detractors of Anwar Ibrahim have been reminded that the opposition leader has a right to exhaust 'all legal remedies available to him under the law to prove his innocense'.

GEORGE TOWN: Senior lawyer and parliamentarian Karpal Singh today warned detractors that they have no right to pressure the court to speed up the on-going Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial.  ”It amounts to contempt of court.  ”It’s a direct interference in the administration of justice,” warned Karpal who is Anwar’s defence counsel.
He said it was wrong to say that Anwar’s trial was of national importance merely because he is the parliamentary opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP.
He noted that all trials were of equal significance and shall be treated equally across the board in accordance to Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
The Constitutional provision states that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
Although Karpal accepted that “justice delayed is justice denied”, nonetheless he said that does not mean a trial should be rushed on account of pressure on the judge by anyone.
The DAP national chairman was responding to today’s statement by Selangor Coalition of NGOs against Corruption (GAPS).
GAPS chairman Hamidzun Khairuddin called on the trial judge to speed up Anwar’s trial claiming that unnecessary delays were denying justice for alleged sodomy victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
He said Anwar’s case was of national interests due to his elected positions.
He even said that Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) was the best platform to advise the Chief Justice to expedite the case, a view Karpal rebuked as “as manifest misconception.”
Anwar’s right
In his  statement issued today, Karpal warned that neither GAPS nor Suhakam, or anyone else for that matter should make public statements pertaining to course of the trial.
Saiful’s father Azlan Mohd has sought Suhakam’s help last Wednesday to determine what could cause the case to be delayed further.
On May 16, the High Court ordered PKR supremo Anwar to enter his defence. The defence case is set from next Monday until Aug 26.
Karpal explained that Anwar’s applications to trial judge and appeals to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court on issues of law were in the exercise of that right.
Indeed he said as a result of the appeals, the law has been developed with setting forth important precedents.
He said the trial judge should be left without any interference to decide upon defence applications in the course of a trial.
Hence, he said Anwar’s trial should be allowed to proceed without any interference from any quarter.
“It’s wrong to say Anwar’s trial has been delayed.
“Anwar has every right to exhaust all legal remedies open to him under the law to prove his innocence,” said the Bukit Gelugor parliamentarian.

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