(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The outrages of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the prosecution amended charges after 10 weeks’ of trial is not only understandable but evoke the support and sympathy of all right-thinking Malaysians as well as all those concerned about the case world-wide.
Yesterday Anwar said: "They have already stripped me naked. Now they are amending the charges. They cannot prove ... they change."
Today, Anwar again expressed outrage when Justice Augustine Paul ordered the striking out of all evidence involving alleged sexual misconduct in his corruption trial in that it denied him a chance to clear his name.
Anwar said: "They abused me for two months and I cannot say anything. It is all trumped up and fabricated charges which now they cannot prove.
"They have achieved their aim to smear me, so now they amend the charges. This is Mahathir's justice."
The amendment of the charges against Anwar by the prosecution so they would not have to prove accusations that he engaged in homosexual acts or had an affair to seek a conviction in the corruption charges and the ruling by the judge today that the truth or falsehood of the sexual claims had become "irrelevant" after the amendments shifted the emphasis from sexual misconduct to abuse of power have strengthened the general feelings inside and outside the country that the dices are loaded against Anwar.
The amendment of the charges at the end of the prosecution case would mean that the defence had been prejudiced because they had been put in the invidious position of defending charges that are now not present any more.
The conclusion to be drawn by the laymen is that even the prosecution has conceded that Anwar should be acquitted and discharged after 10 weeks of trial as it had failed to make out any case in the original four charges of corruption against Anwar.
The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah had previously explained that he would only consent to any criminal prosecution if he is satisfied that there is a prima facie case against the accused.
As it is now clear that the Attorney-General cannot be satisfied that there is a prima facie case against Anwar for the four original charges on corruption, he should ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done by withdrawing all the four charges of corruption altogether.
I therefore call on Mohtar to withdraw all the four charges of corruption against Anwar or publicly apologise for deviating from the traditional prosecutorial standards and causing a manifest injustice to Anwar.