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Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 14th January 2010:

Guan Eng did not refuse to co-operate with the Police

It is mischievous and irresponsible for Deputy Commissioner of Police, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, to state that Chief Minister, YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng, had refused to co-operate when he was requested to give a statement under section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code last Saturday. The Chief Minister did not in anyway complicate the matter as alleged by Selangor police chief DCP Khalid bin Abu Bakar who should mind his language when making public statements. DCP Khalid, in my view, urgently requires a refresher course in elementary law.

The Chief Minister did, in fact, give a statement to ASP Ahmad Fauzi bin Mohamad Zain at his office in the presence of Lawyer RSN Rayer and, thereafter, signed that statement. Before giving the statement, the Chief Minister had requested, and rightly so, that he be supplied a copy of the police report pursuant to which the section 112 statement was required to be recorded. In his statement, the Chief Minister mad . it very clear that he was not refusing to make a statement, but required a copy of police report to ensure whatever he said would be the truth as he was bound to state the truth.

The police have a right to require anyone against whom a police report is made to make a statement under section 112 of the Criminal Procedure the relevant parts of which are as follows:-

(1) A police officer making a police investigation under this Chapter may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case and shall reduce into writing any statement made by the person so examined.

(2) Such person shall be bound to answer all questions relating to the case put to him by that officer:

Provided that such person may refuse to answer any question the answer to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture,

(3) A person making a statement under this section shall be legally bound to state the truth, whether or not such statement is made wholly or partly in answer to questions.

The impact of the words in italics connotes dire consequences and implications. Under the law, anyone, who in the course of making a statement under section 112, fabricates false evidence or gives false information to the police may find himself liable to an offence under section 193 or section 203 of the Penal Code section 193 provides as punishment for giving false evidence, a term of imprisonment which may extend to three years and also liability to a fine; and under section 203, for giving false information, a term of imprisonment which may extend two years, or with fine, or with both.

It can be clearly seen, therefore, it is a necessity, in law, for a police officer recording a statement under section 112 to supply a witness, before his statement is taken, the police report in relation to which the statement is taken to enable the witness, in the context of the allegations in the report, to state the truth. Otherwise, the witness would not . in a position to comply with the strict requirements of section 112 which require him to state the truth. If he does not state the truth, he is liable to penal consequences.

What is more important is that the person making he statement has a right to know the identity of his accuser which would be reflected in his police report, The rules of natural justice demand, that this be so. It is ridiculous to expect a witness to make a statement without knowing who his accuser is.

Logic and common sense appears to be foreign to DSP Khalid. DSP Khalid should communicate with Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdul Aziz bin Zakaria who recorded my statement under section 112 for alleged sedition on November, 2009 at the IPK, Kuala Lumpur. ACP Abdul Aziz initially refused to supply me a copy of the police report to which I had retorted, if that was his stand, I was not obliged to make a statement. When I apprised ACP Abdul Aziz of the law on the position and demanded I be supplied a copy of the police report, he relented and did so. He had to do so.

It was only after I had identified my accuser and the contents of his report that I proceeded to give my statement.

There cannot be double standards. The Chief Minister was entitled to a copy of the report. It is wrong to say that he had refused to co-operate. The Chief Minister was only requesting what he was entitled to law. In any event, he proceeded to make a statement premised on the necessity of his knowing of the contents of the police report before he could proceed to give other information ASP Ahmad Fauzi required. It is pertinent at this stage to reemphasise the proviso to section 112 (2) which bears repeating as follows,

‘Provided that such person may refuse to answer any question the answer to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture.’

This is the law in the country in relation to self-incrimination. No police officer has a right to deprive a citizen of this protection.

The Chief Minister, under the circumstances, was acting within his rights when he requested for a copy of the police report. In my view, it was ASP Ahmad Fauzi who was acting contrary to the law which he was required to uphold.

* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor



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