Either Ways Anwar is Doomed
DAMNED IF HE WINS DAMNED IF HE LOSES – THE SAD TALE OF ANWAR IBRAHIM
Whatever the outcome of Anwar’s appeal against his conviction on Sodomy II in the Federal Court of Malaysia, one thing remains beyond doubt. The reputations of the system of justice, the judiciary, and Anwar Ibrahim will forever be under a cloud of suspicion, their integrity, collectively and severally irreparably damaged by the politicization of the trial of Anwar Ibrahim.
The reputation of government is irreparably damaged for its inexplicable failures to prevent and to discourage attacks against the judiciary or to protect the judiciary from these attacks by the opposition and the Malaysian Bar. The Malaysian Bar is culpable for the conduct of its members in their relentless and unjustified attacks on the judiciary and the courts over the past 2 decades.
The Malaysian Bar for its part has failed dismally in failing to rein in the more destructive, self serving, political and vocal members within its ranks or to discipline them for their conduct in attacking and vilifying the judiciary, undermining of the courts in the process.
In all of their politicization of the courts and judiciary sections of the Malaysian Bar have been aided by elements within the media to propagate and to advance their political campaign against the judiciary and courts whilst a seemingly impotent government looks on silently as a spectator to the undermining, the erosion of public confidence and gradual destruction of its key institutions and with it its integrity.
Jointly these two groups have engaged in a political and undemocratic exercise. A witch hunt of unprecedented unimaginable proportions, vilifying parliament, the judiciary, the courts and government with relative impunity.
The judiciary (and the legal system) is now widely perceived to be tainted by Anwar’s trial, the executive’s inaction in protecting them, undermined and caught in a political cross fire, incapable of defending themselves by responding to these attacks.
ANWAR’S APPEAL- A LIKELY OUTCOME
It is objectively likely that the Federal Court by a narrow margin will uphold the lower court’s decision finding Anwar Ibrahim guilty on the charge of Sodomy.
The Federal Court will likely also uphold sentence imposed on Anwar by the lower court but perhaps reduce the term of imprisonment imposed on Anwar by the lower court. In any event Anwar Ibrahim’s political career is over. And with it Parti Keadilan’s future as a viable political party.
Even if the Federal Court were to overturn the lower court’s verdict there is nothing that can undo the damage to Anwar’s personal reputation, his integrity or the fact that he has demonstrated little of the qualities needed to take Malaysia forward on an alternative platform of government. In short Anwar was finished a long time ago by his own hand.
The Federal Court may reduce the sentence imposed on him by the lower court for a number of reasons to include the time it has taken for this matter to reach its decision (not forgetting that it was Anwar’s legal team that interrupted the process with application after application many of which had no merit at all). That is a maybe not a certainty.
If on the other hand the Federal Court increases the term of imprisonment for Anwar, it will not come as a surprise to anyone with an objective mind having observed proceedings and the conduct of Anwar’s defence throughout the hearings of this matter.
MISSING: THE CHARGE OF RAPE
It seems odd that Anwar Ibrahim has not been charged with the more serious offence of rape. Aggravated rape that is. Anwar in fact should have been charged with the offence of rape for a number of reasons. It is a subject no one has thus far broached during the trial and the subsequent appeals.
Questions arise as to why Anwar has not been charged with rape, given that Anwar did in fact come to be charged in the first place on a complaint brought by Saiful that he was unlawfully anally penetrated by Anwar (and against his will). That complaint and its description is by any definition by any legal standard a complaint of rape. So why was Anwar not charged with the offence of rape?
What remains baffling and unanswered in this matter is the fact that Saiful has not also been charged for the same offence of sodomy (or of being an accessory to sodomy) if indeed he was not a voluntary consenting participant to the offence of sodomy. If Saiful’s account is correct, it would confirm the rape theory.
If Saiful was not raped, then it would have had to have been consensual sex between Anwar and Saiful. And in such a situation, if that’s how it occurred, Saiful too should have been charged with a similar offence or of being a party to and abetting in the offence of sodomy unless of course under the Malaysian legislation only the penetrator and nor the object of his penetration is considered to be the offender in the commission of sodomy.
EVIDENCE TACTICS AND STRATEGIC BLUNDERS
The evidence against Anwar has not been rebutted, not denied and has not been explained away with any conviction or compelling reasoning. His defence team and the style they have adopted in his defence has led to the prospect of the court drawing the inescapable inference and conclusion that the allegations and the evidence supporting those allegations against Anwar Ibrahim is either admitted or not denied.
Judges in criminal matters have a discretion to exclude evidence that they think may be unduly prejudicial to the defendant. But when Anwar decided to take the stand in his defence at his trial, he opened up an avenue for the prosecution to cut through much of what he chose to say or not say, leaving him and his team vulnerable and open to fatal attack.
Anwar’s only opportunity (apart from his failure to produce the alibis he claimed to have had) to properly and effectively raise doubt in Saiful’s story, rebutting the allegation of sodomy against himself was squandered in the witness box. In its place Anwar’s ego emerged with an unsworn statement from the man. A tirade of abuse and a political sermon is what it was from the dock.
Critically the DNA evidence which Anwar’s defence has challenged is being challenged for reasons they believe Anwar’s DNA recovered from Saiful’s rectum has been degraded.
Now here is the puzzle. Why did Anwar’s defence not challenge the DNA evidence on scientific grounds; or rebut the allegation of sodomy against Anwr decisively and unambiguously thus.
“The DNA recovered from Saiful’s rectum was not Anwar’s DNA“.
The defence should have on a denial supplied their scientific evidence to support their denial or rebuttal to the allegation that ‘the DNA recovered from Saiful’s rectum, was in fact Anwar’s DNA’. Instead they claimed the DNA was illegally obtained and that the DNA had been degraded. But critically their defence was not that ‘the DNA did not belong to Anwar’.
It is for the prosecution to prove the DNA found in Saiful’s rectum is Anwar’s DNA. And that burden the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt; And without a contradictor scientifically supporting the challenge by Anwar’s team sufficient for the DNA evidence to be excluded, rendered inadmissible or scientifically flawed did not occur.
It is often a good defence to say nothing where the onus of proof falls entirely on the prosecution. But it is suicidal for a defence team to attack the evidence presented by the prosecution in the way in which Anwar’s defence team had attacked the prosecution’s evidence presented against Anwar.
They failed to rebut the claim, the DNA is Anwar’s. Instead they focused on the condition of the DNA scientifically proved to be Anwar’s as a defence as a means of discrediting the DNA evidence.
By their strategy the defence may well have shifted the burden of proof on the DNA evidence from the prosecution to Anwar which may be more difficult for them to resile from now.
There will be the usual street noises if Anwar’s conviction is upheld. Anwar may go hell for leather before a willing and ready foreign media and Malaysia Kini his stalking horse to claim political persecution if the Federal Court does uphold his conviction.
Given the history of Anwar’s conduct when a decision goes in his favour, he will likely repeat his previous performance before the cameras of Al Jazeera of 2 years ago and thank them and the judges for supporting him (which Al Jazeera disassociated themselves from in 2012) and praise the judges for being “brave and courageous”.
It is time the government of Malaysia dissolved the Malaysian Bar for not being able to rein in its overtly political leadership and start afresh with a new and more representative and responsible legal peak professional body as it has been promising to do for a long time.
Anwar sleeps in a bed of serpents from within his coalition. Bersih especially has been not an anchor but a dead weight around his neck. He has been betrayed by Bersih. Bersih’s leadership has on record said he will not be their leader if the opposition wins. The Kit Siang dynasty (with the tacit blessings of Singapore’s PAP) do not fully approve of his domination of the opposition. They too have other plans.
For a government to successfully have divided the opposition, that could only have come about with the full albeit covert support of key players within Bersih and the Pakatan. Those with most to lose.
ANWAR DOOMED-WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE……..
Anwar Ibrahim has never ever been shy of coming forward to shoot himself in the foot since his attempts at a street coup to overthrow the government of Malaysia in 1998.
Anwar is a repository of lost opportunities, an archive of hit and misses and a store of knowledge on how not to run an opposition, an electoral campaign and a political party.
What he is unable to do whatever the outcome from the Federal Court Appeal is to redeem his badly damaged reputation as an individual, politician and a public figure.
Anwar will always be the man in the film with a prostitute. A man guilty of sodomy. A man whose political party is dominated by his family. A man who promised to form government in 2010 with a “group of rebel Barisan members crossing the floor” via Taiwan then failed to deliver.
Most of all Anwar will always be remembered as the man who used a video tape to entrap then besmirch the reputation of not only the chief justice of Malaysia but also to taint the reputation of the judiciary in the process then cry foul when a tape of his own infidelity surfaced.
People in Malaysia it appears have other things on their mind at the moment than to attend another political “Woodstock” of unruly political groups ending in violence and name calling by a bunch of wannabes who fail time and time again at the ballot box.
The ABC Australia the Pakatan’s partner in crime has been busy doing interviews with Anwar’s supporters and family filming then editing for effect those sound bites about Anwar and the Malaysian government even before the Federal Court has settled on this matter.
The ABC have a team working in Kuala Lumpur based out of Singapore whilst their correspondent for south east Asia sits quietly and safely in Bangkok out of the reach of responsibility and acountability.