In Sodomy II, the burden of proof is on the prosecution

By The Malaysian Insider

In the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and many other countries including Malaysia, the burden of proof in criminal trials is on the prosecution.

An accused, like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his ongoing sodomy trial, is innocent until proven guilty.

But in the days since the judge in Sodomy II threw out crucial prosecution evidence, Umno leaders and their supporters have been betraying their lack of respect for the rule of law and the burden of proof.

Umno’s Utusan Malaysia, the blogs of its supporters and some of its politicians have been applying unprecedented pressure on Anwar to voluntarily supply DNA samples.

Even Anwar’s former supporter Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is also a trained lawyer, has urged the Opposition Leader to surrender his DNA sample to prove his innocence.

The problem with their arguments is that it is not the job of the defence to prove innocence.

The defence only needs to raise reasonable doubt.

It is for the prosecution who has laid charges to prove the charges.

Not the other way around.

In most jurisdictions, this case would have been thrown out because the charge of consensual sex has already been shot to pieces, even by the prosecution’s own witness. 

In most jurisdictions, there would be an investigation and outcry in the media on how the prosecution botched up the handling of evidence.