(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The statement by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah that the police were "fully responsible" for the "black eye" and injuries sustained by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim under police custody is long overdue but scandalous when he said that "ongoing investigation has not identified the person responsible for the injury".
Mohtar said police probe into the matter had not been completed and that evidence obtained so far was inadequate for action to be taken against those involved.
He said: "After further investigation has been fully carried out, if there is prima facie case evidence, I as the attorney-general will not hesitate to consent to the institution of prosecution against any individual proved to have committed or abetted the commission of such offence."
Malaysians and the international community must have found the Attorney-General’s statement as shocking as the first time Anwar was brought out from Internal Security Act detention to court with a "black eye" or the over-three-month-long delay in giving a public and proper accounting of police investigations into Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries.
The findings of the "independent police investigation team" into Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries were submitted to the Attorney-General on November 19 last year, and there are reasons to believe that the investigation findings were completed very much earlier, at least by early November.
The Attorney-General has failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to why it has taken him more than six weeks since the findings were submitted to him on November 19 to come to the conclusion that police investigations were incomplete and inadequate to identify the police person or persons responsible for Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries, and further investigations are needed.
The Attorney-General knew that Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries was an issue of great national and international concern and that the credibility of the independence, impartiality and integrity of the institutions of government of Malaysia were at stake, that every day counts and that national interest and our international reputation demand that there should be the swiftest public accountability of the brutalities.
At least, the Attorney-General has conceded that the police must be fully responsible for Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries.
Malaysians and the international community cannot be satisfied with the manner the entire investigations into Anwar’s black eye and othe injuries have been conducted.
What is clearly needed is for the whole investigations to be taken out of the hands of the Police as well as the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and to let a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a public inquiry into the whole shocking episode to prove to Malaysians and the world that there would be no cover-up whatsoever into establishing the culprits responsible for Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries while under police custody.
The question uppermost in everybody’s mind must be: If a person who had held as high an office as the Deputy Prime Minister, the No. 2 highest post in the country, cannot get justice when arrested by the police, how can any ordinary Malaysian expect justice when they run afoul of the law?
Justice for Anwar and justice for all Malaysians demand a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct public investigations into Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries while under police custody.