Politics Of The Judiciary – Where Does The Accused Stand?

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Politics of the Judiciary - What is there for the accused?
Google picture for illustration purpose.

It is a known fact that some members of the judiciary have their prejudices against so and so, giving justice a heavy burden for the accused.

The legal and judicial system in Malaysia is very much in favour of the judges. The law of Contempt of Court, more known as the Sub Judice Rule and the Sedition Act 1948 are very much protective of the judges. A typical accused comes to court at the mercy of the system of trial. He will face the strict requirements of the Evidence Act, Criminal Procedure Code and other legislations related to the charge. The AMLA Laws and the Penal Code amongst example of criminal laws that an accused faces. Matters get worse when known associates of the accused become witnesses for the prosecution.

It looks like justice is a heavy burden on the accused. To make matters worse, it is a known fact that some judges have their prejudices against so and so. In some cases, the prosecution has demolished the credibility of an accused to such an extent that his evidence is generally disbelieved by the judge.

Again, the accused is at the mercy of the judge when it comes to the evaluation of the accused’s testimony. Whether the testimony is believed or not is at the discretion of the judge. Likewise, it’s up to the judge whether to accept or reject evidence given during the trial.

Remedies Of The Accused

Upon conviction at the High Court, the accused has right of appeal to the Court of Appeal. And with leave, the right of appeal to the Federal Court. The accused is unable to criticise the judgment nor the judge for fear of the Sub Judice Rule. A bigger fear is the Sedition Act 1948 which made it a seditious offence “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State.

The accused actually has no remedies outside the court system.

Najib And The SRC Trial

Najib is a typical accused in a criminal trial convicted by High Court Justice Nazlan. A reading of the High Court Judgment clearly showed that his testimony was disbelieved by the judge. Even the testimony of Defence’s witnesses were disbelieved by the judge. There was no direct evidence of Najib’s knowledge of the RM 42 million coming from SRC. Still, the judge made a conclusion based on circumstantial evidence that Najib had the necessarry knowledge. ANOTHER PRESIDING JUDGE COULD HAVE GIVEN NAJIB THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT AS TO THE ELEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE. THE JUDGE WOULD HAVE THROWN OUT THE CHARGE. It’s about the judge presiding the case. Najib is less fortunate for Justice Nazlan presided his SRC Case.

What Next For Najib?

There is the appeal to the Federal Court that shall be heard anytime this year. Interesting legal points would be presented that may tip in favour of Najib. The possibility of a mistrial might be decided in view of recent developments:

  1. New evidence emanating from the Roger Ng trial in New York. Court testimony that Nik Faisal did receive bribes while he was at SRC; this contradicted High Court Judgment that Nik Faisal did not receive any bribe and thus not motivated to act in a dishonest manner.
  2. Police Report made against Justice Nazlan by NGO on unexplained money of RM 1,000,000 in his bank account. If this report is true, then his credibility will be affected with resultant consequent on the SRC trial. At the same time, Justice Nazlan is alleged to have served as group general counsel for Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), which took part in the decision to give 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) a loan of RM4.17 billion to partly finance the acquisition of Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd.

We have to wait for SPRM to announce the result of their investigation.M eanwhile the social media will be filled with all sorts of speculations. Najib will be the subject of TRIAL BY NEWSPAPERS, TRIAL BY BLOGGERS, TRIAL BY THE OPPOSITION.

We just hope and pray that Najib’s appeal receive a fair treatment at the Federal Court.

Najib has been the subject of extreme prejudice and outright condemnation by netizens. In the light of all these blind prejudices, we
wonder whether Najib is getting the justice he seeks for.

When they say justice will prevail, we wonder if Najib has been selected not to receive any. Only time will tell, I guess. – New Malaysia Herald

EQUITY 2022 adalah seorang aktivis sosial dan ahli profesion undang-undang. Perkara yang dinyatakan dalam artikel ini adalah pendapat peribadi penulis dan tidak mencerminkan pendirian New Malaysia Herald.

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