Posted: 06 Oct 2014 07:12 PM PDT
7 October 2014
We refer to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal against conviction in the Fitnah 2 case, which is fixed for hearing in the Federal Court on 28th and 29th October 2014.
As members of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's legal defence team, we are very concerned by recent developments in relation to the appeal.
Two sedition charges have been recently brought against N Surendran who is a member of the legal team.
Shockingly, the charges are on statements made by Surendran directly on our client Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal.
The subject-matter of both the sedition charges include matters which form part of our client Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's defence which we will be raising in arguments before the Federal Court during his appeal.
In the first case, Surendran is alleged to have merely criticised the Court of Appeal's judgment convicting Datuk Seri Anwar. In the second, he is alleged to have repeated Datuk Seri Anwar's defence to the press after attending a case management session in respect of the appeal.
We believe it is unprecedented for legal counsel to be charged for sedition merely for repeating his client's legal defence. These charges are a form of pressure upon the entire legal defence team of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Under our justice system, every person has a right to a fair trial. Interference or intimidation of legal counsel would amount to a serious denial of Anwar Ibrahim's right to a fair trial.
We must be allowed to prepare for and argue the appeal without any undue pressure. We therefore call for the immediate withdrawal of the sedition charges against Surendran.
Anything short of this may have very serious repercussions on the propriety of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal and may even render the entire proceedings tainted form the very beginning itself.
Gobind Singh Deo
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