ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Najib, Rosmah expected in court: All eyes on what questions Anwar will ask

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:49 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The sodomy trial of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has added another feather to its hat of court-room drama. No less than Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor, whom Anwar has accused of hatching the sodomy plot with complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan, have been summoned to testify in open court .
Both husband and wife had last week refused to speak when they attended a preliminary interview with Anwar's lawyers ahead of this week's trial. The interview was to determine if they should be called as witnesses. As the first couple did not co-operate, the defense sought and obtained a court summons or subpoenae; they now have to present themselves before open court and answer the questions put forward by the defence team of Anwar Ibrahim.

If both Najib and Rosmah refuse to honor the summonses, them both are in contempt of court and thus, libel to charges filed against them. This would also be a public relations disaster for Najib and Rosmah, thus they are expected to appear and this opens the all important question, what will Najib and Rosmah reveal in open court?
And in the wake of the latest revelations from former US ambassador to Malaysia, John Malott, who disclosed that his embassy had been told of a decision to “nuke” Anwar politically for all time to come "until he can never stand up again politically," what questions would Anwar's defense ask?
So far, according to Sankara Nair, one of the defense team, the subpoena have been served on the first couple and they should be on course to attend the trial as witesses.
No magic wand
Indeed, the subpoenae served on Najib Razak, wife Rosmah Mansor and ex-Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and Malacca police chief Rodhwan Ismail is not something they can conveniently wish away.
It is an order by the courts to take the witness stand, otherwise an arrest warrant would be issued for non-compliance to that order. And there are no two ways about it, since it involves a prime minister bent on fixing his tattered public image.
A refusal to appear would mean arrest. Yet, the warrant of arrest has to be served by the judge. And controversial trial judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah has already shown his leanings, giving Najib, Rosmah and the two cops a "life-life" by allowing them to escape being interviewed as potential witnesses for the defense.
Alternatively, Najib and Rosmah can apply to set aside the summons like former premier Mahathir Mohad had done in 1998.
The seemingly biased nature of the trial judge has been a bone of contention for Anwar, who made it clear in his 32-page statement. Would judge Mohd Zabidin give Najib and the other three a “life-line” if an arrest warrant was needed to make the four refuse agree to appear as witnesses?
A subpoenae cannot be reversed, it’s either you honor it or not and it is now a waiting game to see if Najib, Rosmah, and ex-Inspector General of Musa Hassan and Rodhwan Ismail would appear and give testimony in open court.
History will point out Najib’s rather allergic reaction to appearing in court.
In the Altantuya case, Najib was conveniently left out of the picture even-though his top advisor, Razak Baginda was on trial for murder. For reasons known only to himself, Najib chose not to assert his innocence in a court of law and while the murder was tied to the purchase of the Scorpene submarines, as then Defence Minister; Najib was never called up to explain the details of the acquisition. The prosecution made no attempts to even bring him into the pic. But in the Anwar case, things are different. So far, Najib and Rosmah have not been able to thwart Anwar’s defence teams determination to see them in open court.
But what new tricks will Najib and Rosmah throw up to avoid court remains to be seen. It is clear that if the two do not appear in court, they are to be arrested. Would the premier and his wife risk being arrested? Will they have they day in court and tell their version of the Sodomy II drama story? Or will we see the two escape their duty through some clever sleight of the judiciary hand?


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