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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Datuk T and the Administration of Justice

The charge was for screening a pornographic video in public. The three 'Datuk T' pleaded guilty. And yet, one of the three declares that his mission had been accomplished. What mission was that? The screening of pornographic videos? Apparently not, it was to have it made public that:
  • the video had been examined by an expert;
  • the expert was 99.99% certain that the man in the video was Anwar Ibrahim; and
  • Anwar Ibrahim is as such not the man he claims to be.
The question is if that was the mission, why not declare it publicly, even prior to their being charged in court? After all, from media reports Defence counsel appears to have been as much in the know as the prosecution. It also appears that prior to being charged, the three knew they were merely going to be fined and were prepared for that eventuality.

This has grave implications, especially when one considers the events that took place in court. In my view, the more important events were:

  • the DPP read out a Statement of Case which delved into matters that were not relevant to the charge. The charge was the screening of a pornographic video. Was it necessary for the prosecution to establish that the man in the video was Anwar Ibrahim, or any other person for that matter? It clearly was not. And yet the DPP thought it appropriate to make assertions pertaining to matters that were not only extrinsic to the charge, they were based on purported evidence that had yet to be tested or determined to be sound. It is not clear whether the alleged expert report was produced to the magistrate. It appears not;
  • the Magistrate permitted the DPP to do what he did without appearing to have thought it appropriate to direct the DPP to limit himself to the case. In doing so, the Magistrate had, albeit perhaps unwittingly, permitted a judicial process to be employed in a means it was not meant to. If there were reasons behind the extraordinary measures taken in court, then the magistrate may have, albeit perhaps unwittingly, permitted the administration of justice to be exploited to that end.
Much disappointment has been expressed at the way in which matters unfolded in court. This has been misconstrued by some as unhappiness at the fact of Anwar Ibrahim's alleged foibles having been exposed. Criticism of the events have been represented by these quarters as attempts to subvert the truth about Anwar Ibrahim.

But that is the point. The proceedings in court were not about Anwar Ibrahim. They were about Datuk T having committed criminal offences. The events of yesterday must be looked into by the Judiciary and the Attorney General's Chambers.



Anonymous said...

Independent judiciary? Sigh..........

Anonymous said...

Can the Magistrate be charged for screening/permitting the screening of an obscene film in public?

If he felt the screening is relevant to the case, it should have been done in camera, no?

His actions appear to be more serious than Datuk T's, who held their screening in private.

Anonymous said...

yea- it is anwar, who else can be the next PM but anwar