Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ACA - was it used by BN? - arrest of 2 Pakatan Rakyat State Exco and the timing..

Two Perak state executive councillors and a former PKR state assemblyperson were among six people detained in an Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) operation.


In a statement, the ACA said they were detained for alleged graft in relation to a RM180 million housing project in Seri Iskandar.

Five of them, aged between 45 and 57, were picked up yesterday following a public tip-off while another exco was arrested at 10.30am this morning. - Malaysiakini, 20/8/2008 - 'Cash and sex': 2 Perak excos arrested

What was done is so wrong - especially that issuance of the "Kenyataan Media" - which clearly states that they were arrested because of SUSPECTED involvement. Why do you mention 2 State Exco members - what happened to equality before the law. 2 persons would have been suffient - it matters not whether they were State Exco members, policemen, doctors, lawyers, sex workers - just 2 persons is sufficient. I will discuss further on this arrests and statement later on below.

The police and the ACA comes and arrest and detains persons, then go for remand -- and now shockingly also informs the media about it...(The good ACA issued a press statement "Kenyataan Media" about the arrest)... now this is so wrong.

Why is it wrong? Because persons arrested are just "suspects" or just people that they want to assist in the investigations. ....and there is also so much Media publicity, and in this recent case, there was even a Media Statement by the ACA.

Now, when these are later released because they were really not at all involved in any crime - there is not at all any effort to clear their names. No media statements will be issued then - and for the poor victim, his reputation is in shatters and he has no real remedy.

The effect of the arrest, detention, etc may also result in financial losses, etc - but poor victim suffers this in silence most of the time.

Several important points need to be noted here.

1. There is no real need to arrest anyone at this stage. If a person is required to be present to help the police in an investigation, then just send him a written notice requiring him to be present here or there and at what time. Only after there is non-compliance for no reasonable reason/s should recourse to arresting and bringing the person in be done.

2. Today, even if a suspect confesses to the police - that confession generally cannot be used in court anymore.

113. Admission of statements in evidence.(Criminal Procedure Code)

(1) Except as provided in this section, no statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of a police investigation made under this Chapter shall be used in evidence.

3. A suspect has the right to silence - i.e. he has no obligation whatsoever to assist the police in their investigation.

4. For witnesses (not suspects), they do have the obligation to tell the truth - but then they do not have to say anything about matters that they believe "would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture."

112. Examination of witnesses by police. (Criminal Procedure Code)

(2) Such person shall be bound to answer all questions relating to the case put to him by that officer:

Provided that such person may refuse to answer any question the answer to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture.

(3) A person making a statement under this section shall be legally bound to state the truth, whether or not such statement is made wholly or partly in answer to questions.

It is my opinion that

** the police should not arrest persons for the purposes of assisting them in their investigations - unless it is the last resort after reasonable opportunities have been given for the person to come in on his own.

** that even if the police were to arrest a persons for the purposes of assisting them in their investigations, they should never be detained overnight -- unless it is the last resort after reasonable opportunities have been given for the person to come in on his own after being released at the end of the after 1st arrest.

** that even if the persons is to be detained overnight, proper accomodation must be provided - i.e. bed, toilet facilities, etc... (at least equivalent to a 2-star hotel) - Here we are not talking about those who were caught committing the crime...

*** With regard to the suspect, he shall only be arrested after completion of investigation and there are prima facie evidence supporting his involvement in the said crime.

*** After arrest, the suspect shall either be charged in court within 24 hours OR released. What this means is that the police must investigate first, and only when they have sufficient evidence to charge him in court - provided the suspect is not able to provide information that would show his innocence or which would destroy the weight of some of the evidence. Only when sure arrest, and then immediately charge in open court.

*** All persons arrested, detained and not subsequently charged shall be compensated for the deprivation of their freedoms/rights and their sufferings. If there are factors, like media publicity or issuance of media statement by arresting authority, it shall be taken in to determine the amount of compensation. If there had been media reports about the arrest/detention/application for remand - the police/ACA shall cause an official media notification be issued clearing the name of the victim/s.

*** All persons found not guilty after a trial shall be reimbursed his actual costs - including legal fees.

*** All persons found not guilty after a trial, who had been detained while awaiting and during his trial shall also be compensated at a stipulated daily rate.

These are some of the REFORMS that we need in our Criminal Justice System.

Now, when there are arrests - and applications for remand - the police/ACA must concentrate their efforts on completing their investigations as soon as possible....not preparing and issuing Media Statements. Who informed the media? Was it the ACA - and here it seems it is the ACA through their Kenyataan Media - and this is very very wrong...

For politicians.... sometimes these arrests, detention are good for their political careers... BUT for the small person - it is not at all good. The media has an interest on arrest, detention and remand - but really not the later release from detention - because the person was not at all guilty...

We need some serious reforms in the Criminal Justice system...

I really hope that the ACA Media Statement -- and this arrest of 2 Pakatan Rakyat governed State Exco members for alleged corruption has nothing to do with the Permatang Pauh by-elections.... and that it was just co-incidental. Wonder whether such statements are always issued by the ACA...

Public servants should just do their jobs - and should not be made tools by politicians...


LeeZ said...

I refer to your statements:

*** All persons found not guilty after a trial shall be reimbursed his actual costs - including legal fees.

*** All persons found not guilty after a trial, who had been detained while awaiting and during his trial shall also be compensated at a stipulated daily rate.

I was detained (remanded) for nine days (justified as police investigations), and TRIED, and FREED (no prima facie case against me and a few others)...

I definitely AGREE with both of your suggestions above!!!!

But in reality, can I get that compensation???!!!

Anonymous said...

Ooo..... this is small matter ! First time PKR is mention for these act.

Most of the time those who got caught are BN itself...!


Anonymous said...

Sure lahh the ACA was used....they are just another lap dog for the BN what....only difference is their boss hasn’t had a heart attack or waiting for bypass surgery…..but sure will kena wannnn…….sliming their hands with BN shit….will eventually get you into trouble………apa lagi up your sleeve Najib…..more C4, emergency rule???......Anwar will get you man… fact all of Malaysia is waiting to get you and your wife…….and when we do….we will let the Mongolians have a go first….

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Is this a case of 'shoot first, check later' [tembak sebelum semak]?
Without really having too much to legally cater
For it's always blamed on 'sheer coincidence'
When there's an examination on their level of confidence

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 200808
Wed. 20th Aug. 2008.

Anonymous said...

Well done ACA! Whether it's Pakatan Rakyat or BN member, if you are corrupt, pay the price!
ACA show no mercy!

However, suddenly ACA is efficient! Well, we have seen ACA arresting people, but so far none have been successfully charged and sentenced. Only small fries are "roasted". Maybe it's a WAYANG KULIT organised by BN.

MYblog said...

Dont you know this are age old tactics of the authorities to instill fear and intimidate the public by the threat of arrest and remand because it results in social incaceration of the victim and his family. So we live in a so called democracy where our individual rights must be respected.

No such thing here, there is no decency in our authorities may it be ACA or PDRM or other governmrnt agencies like immigration etc.

So are we living in a communistic or dictatorship controlled country or do we call it a police state. Call it by any name but it still smells foul.