Laman Orang Kampong

Fall of a Malaysian Hero
The Anwar Ibrahim saga will forever be a blot on the nation's history

Renegade Judge
Augustine Paul

It was a crude parody of justice from beginning to end. The judge selectively admitted evidence tendered by the defense with cries of "irrelevant" to block any evidence damaging to the prosecution. Augustine Paul had been handpicked to hear the case with a hurried promotion to qualify him. From the start, he illegally hobbled the defense team by disallowing the defense of political conspiracy although it was apparent to all and sundry that political conspiracy was what it was all about. The first part of the trial delved into lurid details of Anwar's alleged sexual misbehaviour that he was accused of trying to cover up. They all stem from a bankrupt businesswoman by the name of Ummi Halifilda Ali who accused him of adultery with her sister-in-law (who denied it) and his wife's former driver who accused him of sodomy. They had no witnesses to corroborate their allegations but they appeared to have powerful political backers. A stained mattress was brought to court and a DNA "expert" testified that the supposed semen stain matched Anwar's. This was admitted by the court although proper procedures to obtain and safeguard the samples had not been followed, his expertise was demolished by the prosecution and "all slides had been destroyed". Failing to make headway on proving the sexual allegations, the prosecution amended the charges to make it unnecessary to prove them thus reducing the burden of proof to secure a conviction. The biased judged accepted the amendments "in the interest of justice" and Anwar was denied a platform to rebut the dirt raised against him. 

On the abuse of power, the worse the prosecution could come up with was that he asked the police officers to "put a little fear" into the slanderers.  In the end he was convicted in a stinking judgement of using his power to cover up crimes which the prosecution could not prove had been committed and given the savage sentence of six years imprisonment. Even this was not argued convincingly and the judge had to do his utmost to prevent the flimsy case from falling apart, even to the extent of threatening the defense lawyers and jailing one for doing their job too well. His denial of bail for a bailable offense during the 6 months long trial was yet another travesty of justice. It was indeed shameful exercise in judicial abuse and Malaysia was humiliated in the eyes of the world.

As a sideshow to the Anwar trial and to bolster up the sexual allegations against him the ordeals of four men close to the accused are worth mentioning. Just before Anwar was brought to trial, his speechwriter Munawar Anees and his adopted brother Sukma Dermawan were arrested, tortured and forced to confess to sodomy with him. Dazed, terrified, disoriented, defeated and isolated from their families, they were dragged to court where they pleaded guilty and sentenced to 6 months jail in 20 minute trials with lawyers appointed for them by the police. Both of them immediately repudiated their confessions on their release claiming they were extracted under torture. 

Munawar who is also a distinguished Muslim scholar filed a shocking affidavit detailing his agonizing mental andphysical abuse at the hands of his captors. The damning affidavit was totally ignored by the local press which had all been too willing to highlight any unsubstantiated allegations against Anwar. Later on, his wife's tailor, Mior Abdul Razak was also arrested, run through the confession factory and the inevitable confession of sodomy secured which he repudiated the moment he was freed from his illegal confinement. Although he was not charged in court and jailed the debacle caused him to lose his tailoring business. The case of Anwar's tennis partner, Datuk Nallakarupan was even more bizarre. For the grand crime of forgetting to renew his license for 125 lousy bullets, this prominent member of society was charged under the ISA which carried the mandatory death penalty. The reason for this illogical charge became clear when his lawyer Manjeet Singh filed an affidavit claiming that the Attorney-General had offered to reduce the charge in exchange for Datuk Nalla bearing false testimony of sexual indiscretion against Anwar. When Anwar's counsel Zainur Zakaria submitted this conspiracy to the court of Augustine Paul, the judge threatened him with jail unless he withdrew it and apologized "for defaming thecourt". Having conducted the bench almost as part of the prosecution team, this monster 

Dr. Munawar Anees
Demonstrations broke out in Kuala Lumpur

of a judge had obviously blurred the distinction between the prosecution and the court. Zainur bravely refused to apologize and was sentenced to 3 months jail. The international press which has been very supportive of Anwar throughout his ordeal condemned the judgement. World leaders expressed their regret.

So Mahathir had orchestrated the downfall of his deputy complete with a show trial worthy of Stalin and Hitler. But this is not the 1940's, this is the age of information and the internet which erodes information monopoly of local tyrants. Mahathir had Anwar convicted in a ludicrous kangaroo court which suspended all principles of judicial jurisprudence and then wondered why people were not believing the court's judgement. For the first time in 30 years, thousands of normally staid and apathetic Malaysians took to the streets in anti-government protests to express their disgust amid cries of "Reformasi!" Although the demonstrations were all peaceful, they were broken up by tear gas, acid-laced water and legions of baton welding riot squads. 





Next Page

Page 4 of 7