by M'sian Compatriot
Dismissal of Anwar's Application to Remove Judge is Fundamentally flawed.
In the hearing on Anwar's Application to Remove the Judge on 27th March 1999, Judge Paul rightly said:
"If an application to disqualify a judge is allowed on frivolous grounds, it will allow litigants to choose judges. . It is with this in mind that I am making this decision (of dismissing Anwar's Application)"
After going through the proceedings on 27th March 1999 including Anwar's Affidavit attached to his Application, I find the only parts that fit the description of frivolity is the Prosecution's grounds of objection to Anwar's Application. In fact, Anwar's Affidavit is so overwhelmingly solid in substance and strong in logic and law that by comparison, not only are Prosecution's grounds look inconsequential but some of the Judge's comments appear outright IRRELEVANT (his own favourite
The paucity of the Prosecution case is amply reflected in its over-play on the discrepancies between the Malay and English version of Anwar's Affidavit and its claim of mala fide on the part of Defence just because the Application was filed "at this late stage".
However, the vital grounds that flawed the Judge's decision are a) his concurrence with Prosecution that the issues in the Application could be appealed at a later stage and b) his complete failure to rebut the Application on facts. These are elaborated as follows:
REMOVE JUDGE NOW OR APPEAL LATER?
Prosecution's contention that Defence could appeal at a later stage for any unfavorable rulings the Judge may have given against the Defence is a general statement that may be applicable to certain cases. It is definitely not applicable in this case. This is due to the fact that there has been virtually a TOTAL BLOCKADE on the Defence to proceed with its lines of defence and to introduce crucial witnesses and evidences vital to its case. If the Defence is not given the chance to pursue its basic lines of defence including calling of crucial witnesses and introduction of vital evidences , how on earth is the Defence going to argue on the facts of this case in subsequent Appeals?
At the start of the Defence case, it had its taste of the FIRST BLOCKAGE when the Judge ruled that "SEX IS IRRELEVANT' and proclaimed that he was not interested to know whether Anwar did or did not commit the alleged sexual crimes. By so doing, the Judge had committed the cardinal sin in the system of Justice - disregard for the truth. His expressed disinterest in the truth went against natural justice and gave rise to strong suspicion of impropriety on his part.
Then came the SECOND BLOCKADE: "POLITICAL CONSPIRACY IS IRRELEVANT" - so ruled the Judge when the Defence was in the midst of constructing its case of a political conspiracy. A political conspiracy would provide a logical explanation to the motive of the police in its cruelty on Anwar and its torture on Anwar's friends to fabricate false evidence against Anwar. Why should political conspiracy be considered irrelevant? In the absence of any plausible ground for the Judge's ruling, one could reasonably conclude that he did it for a dual purpose: to protect the political hierarchy from potentially disastrous exposure and to prevent the Defence from building its case. Thus, the Defence was deprived of its fundamental line of defence.
After ruling political conspiracy irrelevant, the Judge allowed Defence to proceed along the line of a POLICE CONSPIRACY. However, even this line of defence was blocked during the last stage of the Trial when the Judge prevented the Defence from introducing crucial witnesses (Manjeet Singh, Sukma Darmawan, Mior Abdul Razak, Dr.Munawar Aness, Datuk S.Nallakarkupan) whose evidences would have proven Proseution - Police fabrication of false evidence against Anwar through blackmail and torture. Faced with this THIRD BLOCKADE, the Defence was practically stripped naked and driven to the wall, so to say. This is the last straw that prompted Anwar to apply to remove the Judge. This also satisfactorily explains why Anwar's Application was filed at the last stage, thus demolishing Prosecution's contention of mala fide due to filing "at the last stage".
It is therefore obvious that the judicial process for Anwar has been totally frustrated by a partisan judge. Unless this Judge is removed, the Defence will not have the chance to build its case, and no future Appeal court can rectify this irreparable injustice to the Accused. If this is not a good ground for asking the Judge's removal, then what is?
ARGUMENT ON FACTS
In his Affidavit, Anwar has given numerous instances of partisanship and unjustifiable rulings by the Judge. One would have expected the Judge, if he is worth his salt, to take on the Defence by rebutting at least a few of the more important allegations. The Honourable Judge has done none of this. He has merely made the sweeping statement that the Defence is wrong in law to apply for his removal, besides making the irrelevant comment that he was concerned about the possible abuse of this legal process (of judge removal), and expressing his concurrence of the Prosecution's grounds of objection. The Judge's total failure to deal with the facts of the case has rendered his Judgement unsustainable.
After this latest debacle of the Court, one wonders: how much justice is left in our judiciary?