(Penang, Friday): The
Federal Court and Court of Appeal should be cognizant of the maxim “Justice
delayed is justice denied”and fix immediate early dates for Anwar Ibrahim’s
corruption appeal judgment and sodomy appeal hearing respectively.
fully supports the letter by Anwar to the acting Court of Appeal president Datuk
Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (also the Chief Judge of Malaya) dated June 4,
2002 hoping that his appeal against his sodomy conviction will be heard by the
Court of Appeal as soon as possible.
almost two years since the judgment of Justice Arifin Jaka on August 8, 2000
after a 118-day trial sentencing Anwar to nine years’ jail, to be served after
the end of his six-year jail sentence for corrupt practices.
April 14, 1999, Justice S. Augustine Paul had found Anwar guilty on four counts of corrupt practices and
sentenced him to six years in jail.
Court of Appeal started hearing
Anwar’s appeal against conviction and sentence in connection with the
corruption charges on 28th February 2000, handing down its
judgement dismissing Anwar’s appeals on April 29, 2000.
the Court of Appeal, which constituted the then
Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Lamin Yunus, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh
Abdul Halim and Dato Mokhtar Sidin, could hear Anwar’s appeal on the
corruption charges after 10 months of the Augustine Paul judgement, and handed down
its judgement dismissing Anwar’s
appeals two months later, why is the Court of Appeal taking almost two years
just to fix a date for its hearing on Anwar’s appeal against sodomy charges?
is not an improvement in the administration of justice, but going backwards, and
not calculated to restore national and international confidence in the system of
justice in the country.
not just the Court of Appeal, but the Federal Court, which must be both
cognizant of the legal maxim that “Justice delayed is justice denied”, as
there has also been an inordinate delay in the handing down of the Federal Court
judgment on Anwar’s appeals on the corruption charges.
Federal Court should be mindful that the Court of Appeal judgment dismissing
Anwar’s appeal against the corruption charges is more than two years ago as it
was delivered on 29th April
2000, and it would be a grave
injustice if the Federal Court further delays handing down its judgment as Anwar
has already served more than three years of the six-year Paul Augustice
the one-third remission for the jail sentences for prisoners, a six-year jail
sentence would be served in four years. This means that Anwar would have served
his corruption sentences in nine months’ time, i.e. April 13, 2003. In
fact, if Anwar’s more than 18 months’ jail custody before conviction and
sentence had been taken into
account, as is the usual case, in the 77-day corruption trial, Anwar would have
completed his six-year jail sentences for corruption on 28th
September 2001 – as he was first charged on 29th September 1998.
the circumstances, the Federal Court should be seized with a greater sense of
urgency to hand down its judgment on Anwar’s appeal on the corruption charges
without any more delay as Anwar has
some nine months to complete his sentences if his 18-month pre-trial jail
custody was correctly not taken into account, or should have already completed
his six-year jail sentences in September last year if that period had been taken
into account, even if the
conviction and sentences are not altered.