(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah should withdraw from hearing any appeal until disposal of police reports against him for selective prosecution and abuses of power in his seven-year tenure as Attorney-General and the review by the new Attorney-General, Datuk Ainum Mohamed Saaid of high-profile cases handled by her predecessor such as involving Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, Irene Fernandez, Ezam Mohamad, to ensure that there was no miscarriage of justice in the decisions by the former Attorney-General in their prosecution.
Mohtar’s appointment as Federal Court judge has become the most controversial and divisive judicial appointment in the nation’s history and is not one calculated to enhance Malaysia’s national and international reputation for a just rule of law or a truly independent judiciary and will not assist the new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, in his mission to restore public confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary in his two years as the highest judicial officer in the land.
Under Article 145 (3) of the Constitution, the Attorney-General is vested with sole and untrammelled discretionary powers of prosecution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence”, but this does not give the Attorney-General the immunity to break the law by being guilty of selective prosecution or abuses of power.
As police reports have been lodged yesterday by Barisan Alternative Youth leaders against Mohtar Abdullah alleging that he had been guilty of misconduct and abuses of power in his seven-year tenure as Attorney-General, Mohtar must act properly and correctly by withdrawing from hearing any Federal Court appeal until full investigations had been completed and disposed off into these serious allegations, including a full review by the new Attorney-General into the controversial high-profile cases prosecuted by Mohtar.
Dzaiddin should ensure that Mohtar conduct himself properly until the disposal of the police reports so as not to further compromise the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.