PRESS STATEMENT 20th January 2015
“AG should resign and be held responsible for Sirul fleeing”
16 January 2015
Shortly after the Court of Appeal decision back in 23 August 2013 acquitting Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, two former UTK members for the murder of Mongolian AltantuyaShaariibuu, I issued a press statement questioning why the Attorney General’s Chambers had not made an immediate application under section 56 A of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 for a warrant of arrest to keep the accused in custody or release him on bail pending the hearing of the AG’s appeal against the acquittal.
I had pointed out that such applications are routinely done by DPP’s in such instances of acquittals to ensure the attendance of the accused when the AG’s appeal is heard. The fact it was not done in this very high profile case raised questions about the conduct of the matter.
After the AG's appeal was filed in the Federal Court, there was yet another opportunity to make the same application using section 66 of the same Act for the same kind of order. Again this was not done contrary to common practice. I issued another statement questioning why it was not done. Was this deliberate? Such an obvious omission was difficult to explain simply as a result of negligence. Both the accused should at least been subjected to bail conditions such as surrendering their passports and regular reporting to the police. All that required was an application to court which was never made.
The result of this today is that Sirul was able to leave the country and abscond from the Federal Court hearing where his acquittal was reversed and his conviction restored.
The process of administration of justice has been made a mockery by the manner the Attorney General has conducted the matter.
There must be a full inquiry by the Cabinet into how the Attorney-General permitted this to happen.
In any other country where a culture of accountability is practiced, the Attorney-General would tender his resignation immediately.
Member of Parliament for Subang
Parti Keadilan Rakyat Central Committee and Political Bureau