Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Should we not be able to challenge in court decisions of the Public Prosecutor?

The power to prosecute, or the power to prosecute properly is something that needs to be looked at.  The power now  rests with the Public Prosecutor - the Attorney General. We have many cases whereby even when a few are involved, we find that maybe one or two is charged in court and others are not. This, to me, is not right. This is also discriminatory - and it opens to the possibility of corruption and abuse of power. 

Likewise, also decision to appeal or not - as what happened in the case of Razak Baginda.

The power should be given to us to be able to go for a Judicial Review of the Public Prosecutor's decision/s.  A necessary check and balance?

Prosecution failures can also be something that was intentional or negligent. The decision to charge a person when there really was insufficient evidence for the prosecution to be able to prove an offence beyond reasonable doubt. Remember, subjecting a person to a trial in such a situation is 'punitive' for the person who is being tried - not to mention the mental and emotional suffering, but also the financial losses in engaging a lawyer and to defend a case. Worse still if it was a case the person was denied bail, or just could not afford bail who had to remain in detention. The idea of providing criminal compensation to such persons need to be seriously considered. 

There have been several cases involving big names - when prosecution allegedly failed to do a good job - they failed to call material witnesses ( some of these observations can also be seen in judgments of the court). Why did these things happen? Intentionally or was it just simple incompetence...questions...questions. See also earlier postings:- Kasitah Gaddam & Eric Chia - Prosecution's failure to call witnesses - Was it just incompetence OR....?



PMO: Insufficient evidence to pursue Razak Baginda


The Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers did not appeal against the High Court's decision to acquit Abdul Razak Baginda for allegedly abetting the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, purportedly due to a lack of evidence.
"After a careful and detailed study, the AG's Chambers was of the opinion that there were no strong testimonies to prove Abdul Razak's involvement in the murder.

"Thus, it was decided that the appeal would not be filed," said de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri.
She said this in a written parliamentary reply to Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping) who had asked Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for the "real reasons" for the government's failure to appeal.

Nancy added the prosecutors had done an in depth study on whether the appeal was necessary.

Abdul Razak was charged with abetting two police personnel to carry out the murder in 2006.

He was acquitted in 2008 while the two officers accused of carrying out the act were ordered to stand trial.

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, who were part Najib's security detail at the time when he was deputy prime minister, were eventually found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.

While Azilah is currently on death row, Sirul managed to flee to Australia after the duo were acquitted, albeit briefly, by the Court of Appeal.

Najib: Sirul's claim 'utter rubbish'
On Jan 13. The Federal Court overturned the Court of Appeal's decision.

After seven years of silence, Abdul Razak emerged after the Federal Court decision to claim that Najib was a victim of a political conspiracy.

Abdul Razak claimed that the murder was a "straightforward case" and stressed there was no need to establish a motive, a response to criticisms that the government had been evasive in revealing why the gruesome murder was perpetrated.

Sirul, meanwhile, told Malaysiakini in February that the act for which he was to hang was a directive and he had only done what he was told, a claim Najib immediately responded as "utter rubbish". - Malaysiakini, 30/3/2015,
PMO: Insufficient evidence to pursue Razak Baginda

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