Should The Judiciary Be Spared?

From Wong Jae Senn

Independence of the judiciary does not mean that judges are immune from criminal investigations to determine if they are involved in corruption or other crimes.

Back when Pakatan Harapan (PH) was hauling up corrupt judges, we didn’t hear the Bar Council or Suhakam spewing their usual trite, did we?

But when another administration does the same, off they go on their merry journey to come up with lengthy statements.

When former Prime Minister Najib Razak was pronounced guilty even before or during his trial, everyone was baying for blood and wanted Najib to be charged.

We didn’t hear the Bar Council and Suhakam calling for calm and let the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” prevail, did we?

Instead, they indirectly joined the chorus.

In the case of Justice Nazlan, he could have recused himself from the case considering that he was involved in setting up SRC while he was in Maybank, and that experience would have definitely coloured his perspective of the SRC case.

But he did not withdraw from hearing the case, and he made many judgments based on his personal disbelief of the testimonies and shreds of evidence tendered during the trial.

These are potentially grounds for indicating that he had a personal bias against the accused based on whatever opinion he would have harboured about SRC from his previous capacity at Maybank.

Apart from that, rumours are swirling that Nazlan received more than RM1 million in 11 tranches into his personal bank account. This itself is not a sign of guilt or wrongdoing.

If it’s not unexplained wealth, and it’s something legitimate (yes, even if that was his salaries, fees, dividends or bonus from pulling off the SRC loan deal at Maybank) then the investigations will clear him.

If the money in Nazlan’s account cannot be explained, or if they are suspiciously layered, we will find out for sure when the findings of the investigations are out.

If there are irregularities found, will his judgment on the SRC case be overturned?

No. It will still stand on its own, apparently, and it will be up to the upper courts to re-examine whatever evidence or testimony that was presented before and re-examine Justice Nazlan’s findings to decide if he had erred in any way. – New Malaysia Herald

Wong Jae Senn is a New Malaysia Herald reader. This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of the New Malaysia Herald.

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