(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah should tomorrow withdraw the four corruption charges against former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as he had violated his own prosecution policy in prosecuting Anwar for 46 days when there is insufficient evidence forcing a last-minute amendment of the charges.
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 is doubly unjust, not only in denying Anwar the right to clear his name in court through defence withnesses after his reputation had been smeared and sullied by prosecution testimy about sodomy and semen stains, but in depriving the defence the opportunity to throw out the four corruption charges by proving the falsehood of the sexual claims.
The injustice of the last-minute amendment of the charges by the prosecution becomes even more evident when all evidence involving Anwar’s alleged sexual misconduct in his corruption trial were expunged - which involve almost half of the testimony of the 46-day trial.
This is not only manifest injustice, but a gross waste of public funds, time and resources.
At the end of August last year, when releasing a paper titled The Prosecution Policy of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Mohtar told a press conference that his office did not act on its own whims and fancies when deciding to charge anyone.
He said the decision to prosecute anyone was based on evidence, regardless of whether those involved were leaders of the ruling coalition, the opposition, senior government officials or top corporate figures.
He said if evidence submitted by investigative agencies like the police and Anti-Corruption Agency was insufficient, no charges would be brought up regardless of the individual.
"There is no fear or favour. We act strictly on the fact and evidence," he said.
If Mohtar would conduct an opinion poll among Malaysians on the public credibility of his explanation, he would probably find that it is standing at its lowest point for any Attorney-General in the nation’s history.
Mohtar said the A.G’s Chambers decided to come out with the paper as questions continued to be raised on its conduct in deciding on how and when to prosecute.
He said that as public prosecutor, his office did not conduct investigations nor possessed any powers of investigation.
He said: "I am not the Inspector-General of Police. They (the police) give me the materials (of cases). If they give me chicken bones, I can’t create chicken soup. So, if I do not have enough materials, the best I can do is to return the files and propose that they find more proof.
"Also, I can’t tell the police to hurry their investigations. Sometimes, I am as frustrated as investigations take months or years to complete."
But in Anwar’s case, Mohtar’s seems to have tried to create chicken soup from chicken bones, resulting in the last minute amendment of the four corruption charges against Anwar when he found that chicken bones remained chicken bones.
Mohtar should also explain why he is agan sitting on the case of Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries while under police custody four months ago.
A fortnight ago, on 11th January 1999, the head of the Police Special Investigation Team assigned to the case of Anwar’s "black eye", City Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Mat Zain Ibrahim said that further investigation involving recording statements from the police high command as directed by the Attorney-General would be completed within five days.
It is now ten days since the Police had completed further investigations into police assault resulting in Anwar’s black eye. What is the Attorney-General’s decision on the further and final police investigations?
Furthermore, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said last week that the Attorney-General is studying the proposal for the establishment of an independent comission of inquiry into Anwar’s black eye and other injuries while under police custody.
The Malaysian public are entitled to know what is the Attorney-General’s stand - whether he is supporting or opposing a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Anwar’s black eye!