Tuesday, August 23, 2011

‘Anwar’s statement is a political expression’

Anwar Ibrahim's statement has put the legal and political establishment itself on trial, says PKR veep Surendran.

(Free Malaysia Today) - Anwar Ibrahim’s statement from the dock is a protest against an unjust legal and political system.

This is the reading of PKR veep N Surendran, who is also a lawyer, on why Anwar chose to give the statement from the dock instead of a sworn testimony from the witness box.

Anwar also knew that less weight would be given to his testimony as compared to sworn testimony from the witness box, Surendran said.

“By refusing to testify and daring them to do their worst, Anwar has put the legal and political establishment itself on trial,” said Surendran in a statement today.

Yesterday Anwar gave his statement from the dock which meant that he would not be cross-examined by the prosecution team.

Anwar is facing sodomy trial for the second time. The present case began in 2008 after his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan claimed that Anwar sodomised him at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26 in 2008.

If convicted under section 377B of the Penal Code, Anwar could face up to a maximum of 20 years in prison and whipping.

Surendran said through this single, public act of principled defiance, Anwar has demonstrated the shocking extent to which “our justice system has been reduced to being a tool of those who are in power now”.

Surendran also mentioned how the practice of defendants giving unsworn statement came about.

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