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Thread: Badminton Disrupts Trial
06-08-2007, 01:35 PM #1
Badminton Disrupts Trial
LOL, good to see badminton in the spotlight
Malaysian murder trial halted over badminton game by Elisia Yeo
Thu Jun 7, 10:43 AM ET
A high-profile murder trial in Malaysia was delayed after the chief prosecutor was spotted playing badminton with the judge, the attorney-general said in comments confirmed by his office on Thursday.
The trial was supposed to have begun Monday with two police officers and a top political analyst accused over the murder of the latter's former lover, a Mongolian.
But when the hearing started, the lead prosecutor unexpectedly asked for a delay, saying he had only been handed the case the day before.
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail said he ordered the change because the previous lead prosecutor, Salehuddin Saidin, had been seen playing badminton with the trial judge.
"I have to consider the fact the whole administration of justice system should not be questioned by the mere allegation of perceived prejudice, and to ensure that the right of the affected parties to a fair trial is upheld," he said in a report carried late Wednesday by the state Bernama news agency.
The badminton game only came to his attention on May 31, he said.
A spokesperson for the attorney-general's chambers confirmed Abdul Gani's comments to AFP.
An official from the chambers, speaking on condition of anonymity, questioned the decision to withdraw Salehuddin because many other officers in the prosecution service also knew the trial judge, Mohammed Zaki Mohammed Yasin.
"Mohammed Zaki was a former deputy head of the prosecution division, so most of the junior officers now are his former officers. So what's the big deal? What's the problem?" the official told AFP.
Analysts view the high court trial as a key test of Malaysia's judicial and political integrity.
The police officers, from a unit that guards the country's leaders, are charged with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, who was killed last October and her body blown up in a jungle clearing.
Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst and close associate of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, is charged with abetting the murder.
Najib, who is also Malaysia's defence minister, has vehemently denied any involvement.
The attorney-general's explanation came after the parliamentary opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang, called on him to account for the sudden change in the prosecution team, which he branded "a black-eye" for Malaysian justice.
The New Straits Times quoted Abdul Gani as saying that not acting would have been worse.
"I had to do it because otherwise we would not have been able to show the public that we mean business," he was quoted as saying.
"To me, what matters most is the conduct of the trial. It is my duty to correct what I see is wrong."
The opposition Democratic Action Party's Secretary General, Lim Guan Eng, questioned why the new prosecutor was not asked to take over on Friday, immediately after Abdul Gani said he learned of the badminton incident.
Lim Guan Eng said the attorney-general's concerns for ethical conduct would be welcome were it not for suspicions they were "inspired not by concerns of appearance for justice but motivated by political considerations."
The judge gave the new prosecutor two weeks to prepare his case, and set a June 18 start date for the trial.
Separately, lawyers representing Altantuya's family said they had filed an appeal on Thursday to seek the disqualification of a lawyer representing one of the accused police officers.
Ram Karpal Singh, representing the family, said Judge Mohammed Zaki was an uncle of the late wife of Hazman Ahmad, who acts for the police officer.
"Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done," Ram told AFP.
Ram said they had also written to Malaysia's chief justice to have Mohammed Zaki, a junior judge, replaced by K.N. Segara, the high court's most senior.
06-08-2007, 02:16 PM #2
LOL, yeah...i was laughing when I heard the news. My mum looking at me weirdly.
06-09-2007, 01:08 AM #3
If you study law.. you will know why.
06-10-2007, 09:05 AM #4
"I have to consider the fact the whole administration of justice system should not be questioned by the mere allegation of perceived prejudice, and to ensure that the right of the affected parties to a fair trial is upheld," he said in a report carried late Wednesday by the state Bernama news agency."
06-13-2007, 06:16 PM #5
They forgot to tell us the most important thing:
Who won the badminton game? The prosecutor or the judge?
06-13-2007, 06:55 PM #6
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