- Shafee’s appointment as lead prosecutor in Anwar sodomy appeal raises questions
- Do not be slaves to BN, Anwar tells Kuala Besut voters
- CAUGHT RED-HANDED LYING: Ex-Indonesian VP Jusuf Kalla denies Berita Harian report
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 07:59 AM PDT
An unprecedented move by the government to use Umno lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in the appeal against the acquittal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the sodomy case has raised eyebrows as this could lead to more charges of this being a politically-motivated case.
Shafee told the three-man Court of Appeal bench chaired by Datuk Ramly Ali that he was appointed by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
He is replacing former solicitor-general II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden who led the prosecution team in the trial stage.
Shafee, a former deputy public prosecutor before he went into private practice, told reporters that he received a letter from Abdul Gani on July 11 to lead the prosecution team.
“My appointment is in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code. The AG is the only person, and not even the prime minister, who can direct me on this,” he said.
Shafee said he was paid a “minimal sum” due to the existence of a contract between him and the government. “That is very officious in terms of remuneration. Just as I am being appointed in other positions for law, I will do it even if there is no emolument. I consider this a public service,” he said.
Shafee, a leading criminal lawyer, said he would finish arguing the appeal within two to three hours.
He dismissed claims that his appointment as an ad-hoc DPP was “controversial”.
“Why is it controversial? This is an appointment of a private lawyer by the AG,” he said, adding this is not the first time such an appointment was made.
In the case of Teoh Beng Hock, Shafee said Datuk Tan Hock Chuan was appointed to assist the public prosecutor in the inquiry.
Shafee said in the 80s the AG then had delegated his powers to Datuk V.L. Kandan to handle delicate copyright cases.
Shafee said his appointment should not be made a political issue.
“What political motive? I am not even a politician. Many people do not know but I am not a member of any political party.”
“I'll be insulted if I am appointed for political purposes. I would like to think that I am appointed because I am capable,” he added.
He said there was also no conflict of interest in appearing for the public prosecutor.
“I can only be in conflict of interest if assuming I have acted for Anwar before in a case which is linked to this,” he added.
Shafee said after reading the entire 25 volumes of appeal records he found the government had a “very strong case”.
“I believe the only reason for acquittal was apparently the issue of the exhibit being possibly tampered with. There was a total misinterpretation and I would like to put the record straight during the appeal,” he said.
Anwar, the parliamentary Opposition Leader, was freed in January last year of allegedly sodomising his former political aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at Desa Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.
Trial judge Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah said it was unsafe to convict Anwar as the court could not ascertain the integrity of the samples as the investigating officer, DSP Jude Blacious Pereira, had opened the plastic bag containing the samples.
Twenty-seven prosecution witnesses and seven defence witnesses testified in the trial which went on for more than three years.
Anwar himself gave an unsworn statement from the dock.
Meanwhile, the appeal hearing was postponed as the lead defence counsel Karpal Singh is hospitalised for a back pain.
Co-counsel Ramkarpal Singh also informed the bench today that the defence is objecting to Shafee’s appearance.
“The defence could raise its objection before the appeal proceedings start,” Ramly said.
Shafee, who is assisted by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria and Noorin Badaruddin, did not object to the postponement.
Anwar was present in court. New appeal dates will be fixed on Aug 1.
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 07:57 AM PDT
Kuala Besut voters should not enslave themselves by voting in Barisan Nasional (BN) in return for financial assistance, PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night while on the stump for this Wednesday’s by-election.
Anwar told some 800 supporters at Kampung Tok Saboh last night that voters should take the opportunity this time to change the political landscape in the country by ensuring a PAS victory in the Kuala Besut by-election.
"Do not be slaves to BN over pittance. If PAS wins Kuala Besut… every state, country will focus on Terengganu. This will change the political landscape," he said.
Anwar further said Umno had to spend money to win because if they lost, it would change the political map and threaten Umno’s political power in the country.
"It is not wrong to accept aid of RM500, RM200 when one is poor but it is wrong if the person becomes the slave to the ruler when they accept the assistance," he said.
Urging voters to support PAS candidate Endut@Azlan Yusof in the by-election, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de facto leader said it was absurd for people to say that they need to vote for BN to receive aid.
BN has thus far announced 10 projects worth RM387,490,750 since campaigning started on July 12, including a RM250 million project to deepen the estuary and build a breakwater in the Kuala Besut river.
The government had also approved a RM35 million project to fix the Lowvier Dam in Kampung Nangka which stopped working two years ago. The project will solve the paddy cultivation woes which affect about 2,000 paddy farmers in the surrounding areas.
The allocations were announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a meet-the-people session in Kuala Besut on Saturday.
PAS however claimed that all the projects announced was a result of its endless efforts in revealing malpractices in the government.
The Kuala Besut by-election is the first held after the 13th general election on May 5. It was called after the death of its state assemblyman Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar on June 26.
Anwar, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, said the voters can take any aid given by BN but they had to be smart before casting their votes.
He said it was not impossible for PAS to win as it had won before in Kuala Besut in 1999.
"Who said that this is Umno's area? No… PAS won in 1999. All we need is to build the strength," he said.
Also at the ceramah were PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar and Kuala Besut by-election director Datuk Husam Musa.
The by-election is between PAS candidate Azlan and BN's Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman. If PAS wins, it would lead to a hung state assembly but if the seat goes to BN, the ruling coalition will keep the state.
In the recent general election BN won 17 seats out of 32 seats contested while won PAS 14 and PKR 1. After the death of A. Rahman, BN was left with 16 seats.
There are 17,683 voters in Kuala Besut, with 55 percent of them being young voters.
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 07:55 AM PDT
Malaysia Chronicle has been provided with a copy of a letter sent to Berita Harian by the former Indonesian Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla.
In the letter dated July 18, Kalla denied that he ever gave an interview to Berita Harian, which is a Malay-language newspaper controlled by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Umno party.
Berita Harian had published a report alleging Kalla told their reporter Al-Azharri Siddiq that Malaysian Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim had launched the Blackout505 movement using foreign funds tapped from Turkey, United States and the Philippines.
The Blackout 505 is a people’s movement that opposes the widespread vote rigging and fraud detected in the May 5 general election.
The June 28, 2013 Berita Harian ’interview’ was entitled “Anwar dapat dana asing lancar Blackout 505” (Anwar gets foreign funds to launch Blackout 505).
Kalla’s letter is translated below together with a full reproduction of the original letter:
I had just read the June 28 2013 edition of Berita Harian that claimed that I gave an exclusive interview to Al-Azharri Siddiq regarding “Anwar getting foreign funds to launch Blackout 505:.
I would like to clarify that I never gave an exclusive interview to Al-Azharri Siddiq. Azharri met me briefly during a courtesy call to hand me a letter requesting that I meet 8 Malaysian journalists – a request which I rejected. This brief courtesy call occurred on June 1 2013 at the arrangement of an Indonesian member of parliament.
Therefore what Berita Harian reported doesn’t reflect reality and Azharri has since apologised to me about this matter on numerous occasions.
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