Friday, October 31, 2014

Proving Sodomy II beyond reasonable doubt

In light of the ongoing Sodomy II appeal, the following are some basics of the criminal justice system that we should be informed or even reminded of.

(i) It is the job of prosecution to prove that the accused committed the offence. This is in line with the legal maximsemper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit’ (translated: ‘the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges’).

(ii) The defence merely needs to raise certain discrepancies regarding the case, and the accused would be acquitted, provided the court is satisfied that otherwise, the conviction would be an unsafe one.

(iii) The prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence. It is a higher burden of proof than that of civil law (i.e. on the balance of probabilities) because the liberty of the accused is at stake (in Anwar Ibrahim’s case, five years’ imprisonment or more).

Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram started off well. They raised a myriad of questionable issues, thus casting a lot of doubt in the prosecution’s case.

The first concerned Anwar’s alleged alibi. Sri Ram said that the defence did not pursue the alibi because the police had intimidated the main alibi witness, who is the owner of the condominium.

If indeed the accusation is true, it would further mar the already damaged reputation of our police force as such scare tactics would prevent Anwar from getting a fair trial (contrary to Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Malaysia is a signatory but has yet to ratify).

However, the testimonies of expert witnesses tend to contradict one other, thus the difficulty in reach an absolute conclusion whether or not there was in fact sexual penetration.

Next is regarding the lubricant. It was not mentioned in the police report made by Saiful and popped up for the first time during the trial. Perhaps Saiful forgot to mention it because he was traumatised?

Oddly enough, the lubricant was not on the list of exhibits during trial and was even mishandled by the investigating officer who gave it back to Saiful instead of keeping it as evidence. Considering the controversy surrounding the lubricant, I am of the opinion that the lubricant shouldn’t be taken into account.

Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s credibility is undoubtedly questionable. He insisted that during the ordeal, some K-Y Jelly spilled onto the carpet. However, the police investigation revealed that no stain was found on the carpet. There’s clearly an inconsistency in his testimony.

Not a conspiracy theorist

Besides that, Sri Ram pointed out the ridiculousness in which the underwear Saiful wore was washed but the latter’s anus was left untouched, hence preserving the DNA evidence. On top of that, Anwar’s semen was found on underwear not worn on the day of the alleged sodomy. I’m no conspiracy theorist but the possibility of the evidence being planted exists.

Moreover, it was alleged that Saiful met with Najib Abdul Razak and police officials two days prior to the sodomy complaint. If indeed such a thing happened, even a reasonable man would wonder if something fishy is going on.

Moving on, let us consider the photograph of Saiful at Anwar’s house. The picture was taken a day after the alleged sodomy whereby Saiful and Anwar met for a discussion and tea session. Which mad person would hang out the next day with the very person who unconsensually sodomised him?

Since Saiful admitted to being there, there is no question that the photograph was doctored or anything of that sort. Ergo, it is material evidence which should be admitted as it could very well affect the outcome of the case.

It is interesting to see what prosecutor Muhd Shafee Abdullah has up his sleeve. He will have to bring his A-game if he doesn’t want Anwar to walk out a free man at the end of this trial

The Federal Court needs to be constantly reminded that it is a court of law, and NOT a court of politics. Therefore, any political influence should be tossed aside. The courts are to decide without fear or favour!

According to Lord Hewart in R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy, “it [… ] is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

Therefore, the highest court of our land should only uphold conviction if and only if the prosecution successfully proves beyond reasonable doubt that Anwar sodomised his former aide, Mohd Saiful.

Fahmi kena 9 tuduhan anjur ceramah Anwar

Universiti Malaya (UM) mengambil tindakan tatatertib terhadap presiden persatuan mahasiswanya Fahmi Zainol berhubung perhimpunan bersama ketua pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim awal minggu ini.

Menurut surat jawatankuasa displin pelajar yang diterimanya awal malam ini, Fahmi akan berdepan dengan sembilan pertuduhan.

Perbicaraan kes disiplin itu dijadualkan pada 7 November.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Akhbar Amerika kritik PM guna akta hasutan


Akhbar terkemuka Amerika Syarikat The New York Times (NYT) menyelar kerajaan Malaysia kerana secara berleluasa menggunakan Akta Hasutan 1948 selepas janji-janji pembaharuan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Dalam catatan sidang pengarang versi cetaknya hari ini, NYT berkata, akta itu terlalu luas dan “mengundang penyalahgunaan kuasa secara autoritarian”

Tambahnya, pentadbiran Najib juga “menggunakan sepenuhnya undang-undang itu untuk memburu pengkritik” sejak pilihan raya umum ke-13 lalu walaupun berjanji memansuhkannya sebelum itu.

“Tindakan keras Najib itu sebuah serangan menyedihkan terhadap kebebasan bersuara dan ancaman serius pada demokrasi.

“Beliau kelihatan memahami bahaya itu apabila berjanji untuk memansuhkan Akta Hasutan. Beliau patut lakukannya segera,” kata NYT.

Dalam beberapa bulan terakhir, dua ahli akademik, peguam, ahli politik, aktivis dan seorang wartawan disiasat, ditahan atau dituduh di mahkamah bawah akta itu.

Anwar gesa dedah cukai 20 orang hartawan


Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menggesa kerajaan agar mendedahkan kutipan cukai daripada 20 orang hartawan bertaraf bilionair di dalam negara.

Beliau antara lain menamakan mogul telekomunikasi, Tan Sri T Ananda Krishnan; anak bekas perdana menteri, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir; dan Tan Sri Vincent Tan sebagai hartawan-hartawan tersebut.

"Saya mahu tahu daripada 20 bilionair di negara kita ini berapakah jumlah cukai yang kita kumpulkan?" Kata Anwar di Parlimen hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian sewaktu menyokong Rang Undang-Undang Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (Pindaan 2014).

"Saya menyokong pindaan ini yang memberikan lebih autonomi kepada LHDN," kata Anwar.

Menurut Anwar, beliau mahu tahu jumlah tersebut kerana dakwanya, ada di antara golongan kaya di dalam negara mendapat kelonggaran dalam membayar cukai mereka.

"Tidak mudah bagi orang biasa bagi mendapat kelonggaran tapi ada maklumat di mana LHDN ditekan.

"Di mana orang-orang kaya, bilionair, boleh diberi kelonggaran, bayaran ansuran 18 bulan, umpamanya.

"Kalau ini cara yang konsisten diberi kepada semua, yang berhak, saya tidak masalah.

"Tetapi tentunya tidak boleh diberi pengecualian kerana perkara ini dari segi fakta pernah berlaku dan saya harap dengan perubahan ini, kita dapat jamin (LHDN) lebih efisien, lebih profesional dan autonomi bermakna ada tekad untuk melaksanakan (kutipan cukai) tanpa memilih kedudukan atau kekayaan seorang itu," kata ketua pembangkang lagi. 

'Cukai 20 hartawan rahsia bawah Akta Cukai'


Jumlah cukai yang dibayar oleh hartawan-hartawan negara tidak boleh didedahkan kerana ia adalah rahsia di bawah Seksyen 138, Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967, kata Timbalan Menteri Kewangan, Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

"Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri terikat kepada peruntukan kerahsiaan maklumat percukaian individu di bawah Seksyen 138 Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967 dan tidak boleh didedahkan amaun cukai individu sebenar yang dibayar oleh mereka.

"Selaras dengan Seksyen 138 Akta Percukaian 1967 menyatakan dengan izin, every classified person shall regard and deal with every clasified material as confidential.

"Jadi cukai pendapatan individu mereka yang terkaya itu kita tidak boleh dedahkan mengikut akta," kata Ahmad Maslan.

Beliau berkata demikian sewaktu menggulung perbahasan Rang Undang-Undang Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (Pindaan 2014) di Parlimen, petang ini.

Beliau memberi maklum balas kepada gesaan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, tengah hari tadi.

Anwar menggesa agar kerajaan mendedahkan kutipan cukai daripada 20 orang terkaya di Malaysia yang bertaraf bilionair.

MP Bayan Baru, Sim Tze Tzin bangkit dan memohon Ahmad mendedahkan jumlah keseluruhan cukai 20 orang individu terkaya jika jumlah cukai persendirian mereka tidak boleh didedahkan.

Ahmad memberitahu Sim beliau tidak mempunyai statistik yang diminta itu dan perlu memeriksa semula jika ia dibenarkan untuk didedah.

"Pada saat dan ketika ini, angkanya tiada.

"Kemudian... kalau tidak melanggar akta ya," jawab Ahmad kepada Sim.

Bercakap lanjut, Ahmad menegaskan bahawa LHDN bertanggungjawab melaksanakan kutipan cukai "tanpa pilih bulu", dan secara "sama rata" tanpa mengira sama ada individu itu orang terkaya atau tidak.

Beliau turut menidakkan dakwaan Anwar pagi tadi yang mendakwa sesetengah hartawan menikmati kemudahan ansuran untuk membayar cukai sehingga 18 bulan lamanya.

Menurutnya, bayaran cukai secara ansuran boleh dibuat apabila ia melibatkan audit percukaian dan taksiran cukai dibuat oleh kerajaan.

"Tanggungan cukai boleh dibayar secara ansuran mengikut kemampuan kewangan sebenar mereka apabila melibatkan taksiran tambahan setelah aktiviti audit cukai dan tafsiran cukai dijalankan," kata Ahmad yang juga merupakan MP Pontian.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ribuan kenderaan mula membanjiri Kelantan

sesakKOTA BHARU: Kelantan dijangka sesak dengan kenderaan anak perantau yang mula pulang ke kampung halaman bagi menyambut Hari Raya Aidiladha esok.
Tinjauan FMT, mendapati jumlah kenderaan memasuki sempadan negeri Kelantan mula meningkat sejak semalam.
Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Kuala Krai, Superitenden Ab Rahim Che Ghani menganggarkan kira-kira 500,000 kenderaan akan memasuki negeri ini berbanding 1,000,000 ketika Hari Raya Aidilfitri lepas.
Daerah Kuala Krai juga merupakan salah satu sempadan negeri yang menjadi penghubung dengan negeri lain.
Kebanyakkan kenderaan yang memasuki sempadan negeri, bernombor plat dari luar Kelantan seperti, Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor, Johor, Melaka, Kedah dan Pulau Pinang.
Walaupun kenderaan mulai sesak membanjiri negeri ini, keadaan trafik masih lagi terkawal.
Negeri Kelantan boleh dikatakan negeri tumpuan setiap kali tiba Hari Raya Aidiladha, semua anak perantauan yang berada di pelusuk negeri akan pulang.
Hal ini diakui sendiri penduduk luar dari Kelantan.

PKR leadership line-up postponed to after Raya

PKR PollKUALA LUMPUR: The announcement of new PKR leadership line-up in respect of the nominated posts of vice-presidents, secretary general, treasurer-general and information chief will not be made today.
The party was expected to make the announcement at its headquarters at 3pm, but has postponed it as its Central Leadership Council meeting had to be cancelled at the last minute.
According to a source within the party, the announcement will be made after the Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations.
“The line-up has already been decided but it cannot be announced yet because the meeting was cancelled,” the source said when contacted here today.
“Nothing will be held at the party headquarters today,” said the source.
According to the report, the line-up will see several new faces, including some from Sabah and Sarawak, who will fill in top positions within the party.
The announcement follows the appointment of Mohamed Azmin Ali as the new Selangor Menteri Besar recently.
Currently PKR has seven vice-presidents, including four who were elected during the recent party elections.