In case we forget, this serves as a reminder of one of the most biased and corrupted judge in Malaysian legal history, a monster of a judge who sold his soul to the devil and the nation into tyranny for the sake of his career.
The judge is of course none other than Augustine Paul who convicted Dato Seri Anwar to 6 years imprisonment on the basis of the most flimsy evidence ever tendered in court. The hallmark of his trial was the cry "IRRELEVANT" which served as the catch-all for any evidence tendered by the defense which appeared to poke holes in the prosecution.
His trial was peppered with many dubious "firsts". He was the first not to reserve seats for international legal observers and not even the local Bar Council. He was not going to do justice and he hoped that it would not be seen too clearly. To help that along he took the unprecedented step of disallowing publication of certain evidence heard in court He was the first to demand that the defense summarise the line of questioning before they could call a witness, thus prejudicing the defense by removing the element of surprise. He was the first to disqualify witnesses before they could testify. He was the first to jail a counsel for tendering a defense. He was not the first puppet judge but he was the first to conduct a trial in such a crude heavy-handed manner leaving no other interpretation possible than a kangaroo court.
From the beginning, Augustine Paul illegally restricted the defense team from putting together a creditable defense. He strenuously disallowed the defense of political conspiracy, saying that it was fanciful. Not for him to listen to submissions before judging on the evidence. He had already pre-judged that there was no political conspiracy in a shameless bid to protect his master? Political conspiracy was altogether plausible given that the defendant was a politician who had fallen from grace with the PM, yet this monster had the audacity to wave aside the most crucial defense strategy and in doing so brushed all principles of jurisprudence aside in his determination to find the defendant guilty. Although he allowed police conspiracy even this was taken away at the end when the weight of evidence threatened to prove the defense's case. In the course of the trial this monster-judge frantically protected his political masters when witnesses began to give evidence pointing to their involvement. He would cut them off brusquely with his all-embracing "irrelevant" ruling and even when evidence embarrassing to his political masters had been heard in court, he prohibited their publication, making a mockery of a "public trial".
He refused to allow a crucial taped evidence to be tendered in court. In a grand finale, he refused to allow 10 defense witnesses to testify on the basis of irrelevance. If this isn't pre-judging, what is? Whether the evidence is relevant or not is for the court to decide AFTER hearing the evidence, not before. This judge could at the end of the day say that his judgement was based on all available evidence tendered to the court but of course he had carefully filtered through and admitted only those which did not destroy the prosecution's case. Along the way, he threatened defense lawyers who put forward too good a defense and even jailed one of them for daring to put forward a sworn affidavit by another lawyer that the Attorney-General had conspired to use Datuk Nalla's life as a bargaining chip to extract false evidence against Anwar. Amazingly, he called this contempt of court, twisting bizarre new meaning into the term.
In a highly prejudicial move this crooked judge allowed the prosecution to amend the charges late in the trial, making it easier to obtain a conviction. The nature of the amendment was scandalous, in effect saying that the prosecution did not have to prove that Anwar committed a crime to convict him for attempting to cover up a "crime" that they could not prove he committed. It was illogical and irrational, but the crooked judge allowed the prosecution whatever leeway they wanted making him almost part of the prosecution team. It was clear from the start that Augustine Paul was not interested in finding out the truth but only in finding the defendant guilty. He ran a kangaroo court which was no more than a crude parody of justice.
It would take far too long to catalogue all the abuses that this judge inflicted on the rule of law and principles of justice in the Anwar trial. Suffice it to say that Augustine Paul was a monster of a judge who subverted justice, sold away his principles and human dignity. He bulldozed away all that was right and true in his frantic determination to convict Anwar. There was virtually no finesse, logic or even a pretence of impartiality in his show trial. In the end he cut a dark, grotesque figure, a sad pathetic pawn manipulated by invisible strings and seen by all as the epitome of the loss of independence of the judiciary
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