Saiful-Farah liaison: Whither justice?

By Kim Quek

Judge Zaibidin Diah’s rejection of Defence’s request to put complainant Saiful and DPP Farah on the witness stand despite the duo’s complete failure to respond to allegation of sexual relations between them is most regrettable. For it is another black mark to the long-running, scandal-ridden Anwar Sodomy Trial II, thus reinforcing the universal perception that the trial is nothing but political persecution for Anwar Ibrahim.

What would a deputy public prosecutor do when he or she is accused of sleeping with the complainant in a criminal trial if the allegation is false? Shouldn’t the DPP instantly yell and deny and act against the defamer?  

What is your take of this DPP if he or she chooses to steadfastly act deaf and dumb despite the fact that the controversy sparked by his or her alleged misconduct has raged relentlessly for almost three weeks?

And what is your take of the Attorney General and the prosecuting team who insist they know nothing about the affair and also insist the DPP has done nothing wrong despite the AG’s incongruous act to quickly bundle her away not only from the prosecuting team but also from the prosecuting division of the Attorney General’s Chambers?

Mind you, we are not talking about an ordinary criminal trial, but possibly the most important trial in our history involving the fate of the highest-profiled political leader of the country, the outcome of which may sway the course of history for many years to come.

Prosecution smacks of dishonesty

Under the circumstances, shouldn’t the AG be duty bound to the nation to come clean and say outright whether the allegation is true or false? What choice do we have other than to impute dishonest intention and dishonourable conduct on the part of the prosecution over its prolong ambiguity over such an important issue?

Who would believe prosecution team leader Solicitor General II Yusof Zainal Abiden when he professed no knowledge of the affair though he and DPP Farah Azlina had been working together as a team on this case for six months and meeting almost every day, and all he needed to do was to ask Farah whether the allegation was true? Don’t tell me Yusof never asked her, or that she never answered, or that he had no means of finding out the veracity of the allegation. For that would be a blatant lie.

Having failed the honesty test over his dubious stand on the Saiful-Farah liaison, Yusof had very little credibility left when he claimed that this unethical and illicit relationship had absolutely not caused any injustice to Anwar.

In the first place, why didn’t he get Farah and Saiful to file an affidavit in defence against Anwar’s affidavit seeking the dismissal of the case? There is absolutely no reason to use only third parties to rebut Anwar, when the principals are alive and well and fully capable of speaking for themselves. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation to this anomaly, how much weight can we attach to these third party affidavits?

Then, failing to get the affidavits from the principals, why did Yusof get his subordinate DPP Hanafiah Zakaria and investigating officer Supt Jude Pereira to file their affidavits, instead of doing it himself, since as team leader he should be more knowledgeable and his words more authoritative? Isn’t this another indication of the lead prosecutor’s evasiveness?

Unbelievable claim of Farah’s constricted role

Prosecution claimd that DPP Farah’s function as a prosecutor in the team is strictly confined to taking down notes during court proceedings and categorically declared that she had never had access to any investigating document or any meeting throughout her six months of participation as a team member. As such, the prosecution claimed that she knew virtually nothing that could be of help to Saiful, neither could she have exerted any influence over the course of trial.

Keeping in mind that Farah is a qualified lawyer and a prosecutor officially appointed for this trial, is it credible that she could take this humiliation of only being allowed to work as a menial clerk and denied any opportunity to function as a legal officer?  Does it make sense for the Attorney General’s Chambers to engage a qualified lawyer, make her a prosecutor but forcing her to work only as a clerk? Isn’t this a waste of talent and public funds and an unjust treatment of a fellow legal officer? Why should the Attorney General and the Solicitor General II do a horrible thing like this? Will these two gentlemen please answer these questions before they expect the people to believe even a word of what they claim?

Is it conceivable that during the six months on the case as a DPP, she has never had the opportunity to see any document of relevance or heard or participated in conversation or discussion relating to the case? Was there any strict order that she be barred to all these? If not, how can anyone be certain that she knows nothing of consequence to the prosecution case?

Naïve to ignore sexual passion

Prosecution assured the court that they were absolutely sure that Farah had not communicated any information to Saiful that the latter was not entitled to know. Have they been keeping a 24-hour watch on this couple including what happened within the bedroom? If not, how can they be so sure?

Are we so naïve that we are unaware of the power of sensual love between two individuals? Have we forgotten the lessons of history when many an empire and kingdom rose and fell because of the passion ignited between a man and a woman? If Saiful and Farah are lovers, which no one has denied, no court of law should accept any assurance that the prosecutor has not infringed the ethics of her profession.

It is puzzling how Judge Zaibidin had arrived at the conclusion that justice is better served by not allowing the principal actor and actress to come forward to say their piece and expose themselves to scrutiny.

With many swirling questions remaining unanswered and the credibility of the prosecution plunging to an all-time low, what can we interpret from prosecution’s vehement objection to call the duo as witnesses, and the judge’s endorsement of such objection?

Have these officers of the court forgotten their sworn duty to seek truth and defend justice at all times?

Isn’t it true that the prevailing public perception now is that the court is fearful of the truth being exposed?

Now that the court has shut the door to learning the truth from the horses’ mouth, what alternative is left to salvage the honour of the court and our judicial system other than to dismiss the case and spare the nation the agony of watching infamy in the making?