Friday, July 11, 2008

MADPET:- THERE SHOULD BE NO HARRASSMENT OF LAWYERS IN MALAYSIA - Investigate Allegations Of Police/Prosecutors Suppressing Of Evidence-



- Investigate Allegations Of Police/Prosecutors Suppressing Of Evidence-

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is concerned by the fact that the police has send a letter requiring lawyer N. Surendran, a Malaysian who is against Death Penalty and Torture, to meet the police concerning allegedly investigation into the statutory declaration/s made by private investigator P. Balasubramaniam.

On 3/7/2008, P Balasubramaniam made known a statutory declaration he had made allegedly on 1/7/2008 that linked Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

More disturbing was the allegation contained in paragraph 49 of this Declaration, being that the police had caused to be left out certain matters he had told them in the statement he was finally asked to sign. “I told them all I knew including everything Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had told me about their relationships with Najib Razak but when I came to sign my statement, these details had been left out…”

MADPET is also concerned about the allegation contained in paragraph 50, that the prosecution may have intentionally or otherwise failed to ask questions that will cause the name and/or involvement of Najib Razak to be disclosed. “…The prosecutor did not ask me any questions in respect of Aminah’s relationship with Najib Razak or of the phone call I received from DSP Musa Safri, whom I believe was the ADC for Najib Razak and/or his wife…”

Prosecutors do and must have the duty to disclosure all facts to ensure that justice be done, more so in a murder case where a finding of guilt would result in the death penalty. Leave it to the judge to decide on the importance or relevance of facts and evidence, when he decides on the guilt or innocence of the accused.

On 4/7/2008, the following day, there was another media conference and a 2nd Statutory Declaration was disclosed, and this new declaration not only revoked the 1st Statutory Declaration, but also did go further to specifically revoke references to Najib Razak’s involvement. It was also reported that allegation was made that the 1st Declaration was made under duress.

Thereafter, allegedly P. Balasubramaniam and his family disappeared.

On 5/7/2008, R. Kumaresan, the nephew of that now ‘infamous’ private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, accompanied by his lawyer N. Surendran, made a report that his uncle and family had gone missing.

Mr Surendran did today receive a letter from the police requiring his presence on 12/7/2008 (Saturday) at 3pm at Tingkat 6, Blok G, Unit Siasatan Jenayah Siber & Multimedia, Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil (Commercial Crime Investigation Department), Jalan Dato Onn, 50560 Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-26163822). The letter was dated 11/7/2008, and was signed by one ASP Abdul Halid bin Hj Ludin, Pegawai Penyiasat (Investigating Officer).

The letter, that was issued under section 111 Criminal Procedure Code, states that the case being investigated is classified under section 199 Penal Code (False statement made in any declaration which is by law receivable evidence) with regard to a false statement made in a Statutory Declaration – referring to Dang Wangi Rpt: 23402/08.

On the face of it, there is no justification for the calling of Mr Surendran with regard to this particular investigation.

Firstly, N. Surendran is merely the lawyer of the nephew, concerned only about his uncle and family when they went missing.

Further, N Surendran is the lawyer of R. Kumaresan, and is bound by solicitor-client privilege, which means that a lawyer cannot be compelled to disclose legitimate communications, whether oral or written, passing directly between him and his client. This means that he would also not be able to disclose anything that transpired between him and his client.

MADPET is concerned that this may be yet another case of harassment of a lawyer, and this is unacceptable

We recall the Malaysian Bar Resolution that passed at an Emergency General Meeting on 10/10/1998, which saw the attendance of over 2,400 lawyers, that clear states that lawyers “…be allowed to carry out their duties freely without any harassment, hindrance or restraint by the Authorities...”

MADPET urge that lawyers in Malaysia, including Mr Surendran, be allowed carry out their functions without fear or favour and completely free from any sort of harassment, threats or retaliation from the government.

MADPET also calls for the immediate investigation into the allegations that have been made against the police and the prosecutors, who allegedly suppressed that part of the truth that implicated involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Charles Hector

for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

11th July 2008

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