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AP: Wahab Patail Raja Mahkamah.
By Matkamah

4/5/2001 8:15 pm Fri

Ringkas: Gelagat Wahab Patail di Mahkamah.

Kes Tambahan Anwar:

Hakim Wahab Patail tidak membenarkan media melapurkan perbicaraan Anwar yang ditetapkan pada 7 Jun 2001 nanti. Hanya 'bukti fakta' sahaja dibenarkan. Ini menyebabkan wartawan kebingungan tidak tahu apa yang boleh dan apa yang tidak boleh. Mereka sangsi apakah kata-kata peguam atau Anwar atau sesiapa sahaja boleh dilapurkan.

"Perlembagaan Malaysia menjamin kebebasan bersuara tetapi ia tidak menjamiin kebebasan selepas bersuara, " kata Harun Mahmud Hashim, profesor undang-undang di UIA.

Kes Dr Munawar:

Dr Munawar Anees gagal untuk mendapatkan butiran terperinci dari polis mengenai pergerakkan beliau semasa ditahan dari Sept 14 sehingga Sept 19. Hakim Wahab Patail memutuskan tiada provisi yang memerlukan kakitangan awam menyediakan jadual sedemikian. Menurut Patail lagi Akta dan Undang-undang Penjara serta Undang-undang Lokap tidak membenarkan Munawar memeriksa rekod-rekodnya.

Kes Nalla:

Mahkamah diberitahu Nalla tidak dibenarkan untuk menemui peguam Manjeet pada Sep 1 1998 kerana 'tersalah komunikasi'. Musa Hassan menghadapi pertuduhan melanggar undang-undang lokap kerana tidak membenarkan Nalla menemui peguamnya. Wahab Patail terus menggugurkan pertuduhan itu.


Oleh kerana tiada kebebasan selepas bersuara, saya tidak mahu atau perlu memberi komen apa-apa, cukuplah sekadar melapurkan sahaja. Apakah itu pun salah juga?

Mungkin satu komen pendek sahaja. Bagaimana boleh 'tersalah komunikasi' sedangkan Malaysia mempunyai MSC? Kalaulah begini cara polis bertugas tidakkah ia menggugat keselamtan negara? Takkanlah tak ada talifon langsung di Bukit Aman? Atau semuanya rosak belaka? Bukankah hand phone itu ada? Lagipun wireless dan internet sudah ada. Tiada sebab untuk polis memberi alasan 'tersalah komunikasi'. Tetapi semua orang tahu polis mengikut arahan menteri dalam negeri dalam kes sebegini. Menurut rekod, Mahathirlah menterinya di saat ini........

Malaysian court gags media as Anwar's trial set for 7 June

KUALA LUMPUR (AP - 4 May) -- As a debate on press freedom raged in Malaysia on Tuesday, a judge issued a severe gag order that left journalists confused about what they could print during the coming s###my trial of convicted politician Anwar Ibrahim.

Judge Abdul Wahab Patail barred lawyers from talking to reporters about the trial to get underway June 7. He said if lawyers were unhappy they should seek legal avenues to express it.

He also said media could only publish "factual evidence" related to the Anwar case, leaving reporters to wonder whether they could quote Anwar, his lawyers and supporters during the trial that accuses him of committing s###my in 1992.

"Reporters of any media organization breaching the order shall be barred from the court," Abdul Wahab said in his five-page ruling.

Abdul Wahab's decision came amid growing unease among Malaysian journalists about what newspapers can or can't publish.

After Tuesday's High Court ruling, few lawyers could explain to reporters what it meant.

"I don't know what's prohibited. Nobody knows how this relates to matters in the proceedings," said Raja Aziz Addruse, who headed a team of nine lawyers to defend Anwar in the trial on four counts of abuse of office. Anwar was convicted and sentenced to six years in jail April 14.

Meanwhile, journalists, academics and media experts at a rare seminar on the role of the press were unequivocal that a judge's ruling can't be flouted.

"The judge is the king. His decision is final," said Hng Hung Yong, chief executive officer of the Sun newspaper group.

On Tuesday, several Asian experts at a media seminar conceded there were too many controls on the press. They complained that Malaysian papers were controlled by powerful political groups and laws, including one that requires publishers to renew their licenses every year.

While some of the editors of Malaysian dailies said curbs should be lifted, they argued the press should abide by government regulations. Others said controls were overwhelming.

"Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of speech. But it does not guarantee freedom after speech," said Harun Mahmud Hashim, a law professor at the International Islamic University near Kuala Lumpur.

Munawar loses bid to get data from cops

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court dismissed yesterday an application by former consultant Dr Munawar Ahmad Aness for the police to provide him with a detailed schedule of all his movements from the time of his arrest on Sept 14 until he was charged on Sept 19. In dismissing the application, Justice Abdul Wahab Patail ruled that there was no provision requiring the public officer concerned to prepare a detailed schedule as was requested. He said the application in this case was not for any record that exists. Munawar, who was jailed six months' by a Sessions Court on Sept 19 after he admitted to allowing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to s###mise him, had filed the application on Oct 24.

He had named the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of Prisons and the Government as respondents. Justice Abdul Wahab in his 14-page judgment, said at the onset, Senior DPP Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had raised a preliminary objection and argued that it was unclear as to under which provision the application was being made. The judge said there was no evidence to suggest that a detailed schedule as requested in the application was actually maintained. "There is no evidence whatsoever that Munawar was moved from the Kajang Prison on Sept 19 as was asserted in the application. "The respondents are asked to create a schedule from records that may or may not exist," he said, adding that the Prisons Act and Rules, and the Lock-up Rules did not allow Munawar to inspect records.

Nalla's Application Against CID Assistant Director Dismissed - [ Editor]

Kuala Lumpur, Thurs - Police had no intention to obstruct former Magnum Corp public affairs director Datuk Nallakarupan Solamalai from meeting his lawyers while in detention at Bukit Aman, the High Court was told today.

Police's refusal to allow lawyer manjeet Singh Dhillon to meet nallakaruppan, better known as K.S. Nalla, on Sept 1, resulted from "a miscommunication", senior DPP Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden said.

In a brief, prepared statement he read out in court, Yusof said the statement was made to resolve nalla's applicatioin to order CID assistant director SAC I Muksa Hassan to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt for preventing Nalla from meeting his lawyers.

If the circumstances of Sept 1 suggest or are, in the eyes of the counsel, tantamount to an obstruction, "then the police state that they did not wilfully or intentionally cause such obstruction", Yusof said.

Manjeet told the court that in view of the statement, his client has instructed him to withdraw the application.

Judge Abdul Wahab Patail then struck off the application.

In his application, Nalla said Musa had breached a court order and the lock-up rules by barring nalla from meeting his lawyers on Sept 1.

Nalla, who was arrested on Aug 31 for investigations into the book 50 Dalil kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM, is being held at the Sungai Buloh Prison pending trial on ollegal possession of ammunition, scheduled to begin on Nov 9.

He is charged with unlawful possesion of 125 rounds of Fiocchi 6.35mm bullets without lawful authority on July 31 in his house at Selekoh Tunku in Bukit Tunku, a gazetted security area.

He was charged under Section 57(1)(b) of the Internal Security Act 1960, which carries the death penalty.


Our Independent Judiciary by (name deleted)

  1. The PM repeatedly states that the judiciary is so independent that UMNO was banned. The rebuttal is simple. Malaysia's judiciary prior to the Tun Salleh Abas case was highly regarded and independent. After his dismissal it became subservient to the executive branch. Both the heads of judiciary after that have been corrupt men. They oversee what are little more than kangaroo courts.

  2. The Anti Corruption Agency found enough evidence for a prima facie case of corrupt practice against the head of the judiciary (Eusoff Chin) more than a year ago. Guess who is sitting on the file?Why? So he can manipulate the judiciary!

  3. The AG was an obscure functionary who was brought from nowhere as most observers know. He was selected on Tun Daim's recommendation through Tan Sri Vincent Tan. Proof of this relationship can be seen at Would he not be indebted to those who plucked him out of nowhere? A satisfied PM has extended his term twice.

  4. The judge who heard Datuk Nalla's case and DSAI's habeas corpus case and the chief prosecuter for DSAI are brothers from Sabah. Dato Wahab Patail's appointment as judge was personally recommended by AG Datuk Mohtar. They are very close family friends from the time Mohtar was based in Sabah. Is it a mere coincidence these three figure so prominently in DSAI's cases?Justice Wahab Patail seems to have been transferred in just to hear as many DSAI related cases as the Government can get away with.

  5. Datuk Gani Patail had been going almost every day to Bukit Aman before DSAI's arrest. To make the police's investigation papers as water-tight as possible perhaps? And yet the AG has the cheek to say their case is based on the papers submitted by the police.

  6. Justice Augustine Paul is the most junior judge in the Criminal Court.He was transferred two weeks before Anwar's hearing. His elevation to judge was personally moved by AG Mohtar himself.

  7. DSAI's habeas corpus was to be heard by Justice Vohrah. Wahab Patail called Vohrah to say Eusoff Chin had asked him(Wahab) to hear the case.This is 1 week after Eusoff Chin told The Star that he did not realise that Wahab Patail had heard a case in which his brother Gani had been the prosecuter. Chin admitted it should not have happened.DSAI's lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah requested Wahab Patail on the 24th October to transfer the case to another judge. Shamelessly Justice Wahab Patail refused to do so.

  8. In the latest round of musical chairs, Justice Vohrah has reportedly been transferred to the Civil Court. Lawyers will remember he was transferred from the Civil Court to the Criminal during the Ayer Molek case.Now he has been transferred again to avoid hearing DSAI related cases.

  9. Umi Hafilda Ali and other key witnesses have been seen visiting the AG's chambers together with police.Has the the AG's chambers departed from previous practice and is now coaching witnesses?

  10. The judge Hasnah who allowed DSAI to testify regarding his injuries was informed of her transfer the very next day.

Keen observers of the Judiciary have known for some time now that the dictum "Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done" has no relevance in Mahathir's Malaysia since the Tun Salleh Abas dimissal.

If this is the extent to which the Government will go in the DSAI case what hope does a foreign investor who runs afoul of the Government in the future have?

Asian Human Rights Commission

AHRC Publications - Human Rights Solidarity - January 1999

Volume 9 No. 1


Detained Suspects Denied Right to Legal Advice and Representation

On 18 November 1998, lawyers from the Legal Aid Centre in Malaysia went before High Court judge Y.A. Datuk Wahab Patail with a request that he do a revision of the remand proceedings on 16 November of all those arrested for illegal assembly a day earlier, as the Legal Aid lawyers were denied access when the matter was heard despite the fact that they had put on record in writing that they were acting for those detained.

The judge while refusing to do revision informed the lawyers that he would direct the magistrate who heard the remand application on 16 November to re-hear the remand application in the afternoon of 19 November.

Yet on 19 November, there was no re-hearing of the remand application. The judge now said that he never gave any such direction. He said that he had met with the magistrate, and from the records, he is of the opinion that no re-hearing is required.

In fact, the lawyers had told the judge that they were acting on the request of the family members. The judge, however, said that the right to choose a lawyer rested with detained suspects, not their family members.

Given the fact that there is no right to a phone call, no right of access to family members and a lawyer, how can an accused contact, let alone appoint, a lawyer?

The judge's response was that the right to a phone call is something that the Malaysian Bar should be pushing for.

But then, if a person who is arrested and detained by the police gets a right to one phone call, it still does not solve the problem. In a hypothetical situation, the detained suspect would first call his family/friends informing them that he has been arrested. He may even ask them to go and get him a lawyer. The family would then go and appoint a lawyer, but how is the family going to communicate the fact that a lawyer has been appointed and that his/her name is so-and-so? The detained suspect will then be in the same position as he was with regard to legal representation when there was no right to a phone call.

If there is a right of access to family and lawyers, then at least the right to a lawyer will be ensured.

Therefore, the judge's view that a detainee, and not the family, has the right to a lawyer of his choice fails.

In the Kuala Lumpur magistrate court, more than 90 per cent of the people arrested do not have legal representation during remand proceedings. It was also the case when they were brought to court to be charged. The Legal Aid Centre's Dock Brief Programme now ensures that most persons will have access to legal advice and legal representation before they enter their plea. If they plead guilty, these lawyers assist in the mitigation. If the person claims trial (or wants to be out before he is convicted and sentenced), the Legal Aid also helps them with bail applications. With regard to remand proceedings, attempts to provide advice and representation have many obstacles. The fact that they are secretly brought in and quickly whisked to the magistrate at odd times has also been one of the difficulties. Even when the lawyers put themselves on record, the lawyers find that they are not called in at times. If it is the police alone that creates this difficulty it may be not too bad, but the fact that magistrate is seen to be in cohort with the police is bad for the reputation of the Malaysian judiciary. The courts should mete out justice and should strive to ensure that the basic right to advice and representation by a lawyer.