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Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patil should not join the ridiculous game of musical chairs where the presiding judge, prosecution teams, defence lawyers are changed at the last minute to facilitate the murder trial of Altantuya Shaariibuu be repeatedly postponed which make our court process a mockery of justice



Press Conference

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): DAP reminds Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail that the eyes of the world are on Malaysia to determine whether rule of law is upheld and Malaysia can ensure that “justice is not only done but seen to be done” in the sensational Altatunya Shaariibuu murder trial. As Attorney-General, Abdul Gani should not join or be part of this ridiculous game of musical chairs where judges, prosecution teams, defence lawyers are changed at the last minute to facilitate the murder trial of Altatunya to be repeatedly postponed and make our court process a complete mockery of justice.

The latest postponement of the trial by two weeks to June 18 was forced by the court when the new lead prosecutor Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah, the head of the Attorney-General’s Chambers civil division, and DPP Manoj Kurup took over at the last minute from DPPs Salehuddin Saidin and Noorin Badaruddin. This is not only unusual but unprecedented in a murder trial of this significance and demonstrates the utter lack of responsibility, care and professionalism required from Abdul Ganin in preparing for the trial.

Justice in Malaysia can not be achieved with last minute moves as this is not about “instant mee”(mee segera) but in a fair trial that can show-case to the world the application of international norms of rule of law in Malaysia. Instead of demonstrating there is both rehabilitative(to restore in to the victim or their family’s loss) and punitive justice ( to punish the offenders for their misdeeds and also as a warning to those contemplating such misdeeds), we have this comment from Abdul Gani on the last-minute change in prosecution team “he initiated the move to introduce a new prosecution team in order to ensure a "fair trial" to all parties concerned”

Sack the old prosecution team for incompetence or resign himself if Abdul Gani cannot fully explain to the public

How can there be a fair trial when the new lead prosecutor, Tun Abd Majid informed the court that the new team had only been assigned to the case on Sunday due to “unforeseen circumstances” and as such, needed time to go through more than 100 statements before being able to proceed.

How can there be a fair trail with such shocking lack of professionalism and disrespect of the the court and murder trial? Such unprofessional act by the prosecution is itself a miscarriage of justice and a betrayal of the great public trust to uphold and defend our laws. Abdul Gani must explain what he meant by fair trial and what Tun Majid meant by “unforseen circumstances” or else he will be perceived by the public as trying to manipulate the trial for certain motives.

Is he unhappy with the performance of the old prosecution team Deputy Public Prosecutor Salehuddin and Noorin, the same team who prosecuted in the Canny Ong murder trial that led to the conviction of Ahmad Najib Aris? If so, then he should sack them for incompetence as justice would not be served by fools. If not, then he must justify fully to the public the reasons for such last-minute moves.

There is a growing public disquiet that justice would not be done to Altatunya because of the involvement of one of the accused with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Unless this doubts are dispelled, justice would not be seen to be done and the game of musical chairs would be seen as a device to postpone it until after the next general elections to prevent sensitive information from being exposed in court.

Abdul Gani has the full responsibility to remove and clear away such public doubts and suspicions with a full public explanation. Otherwise Abdul Gani should resign as Attorney-General for failure to uphold the highest professional standards of care and meritorious performane in ensuring that “justice is not only done, but is seen to be done”.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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