Zaid Ibrahim hopes for Anwar’s freedom

Zaid Ibrahim

‘How can we condone a guilty verdict and at the same time feel no revulsion over the way Altantuya was murdered?’

(Free Malaysia Today) – Malaysia would be ripe for another political tsunami if Anwar Ibrahim is found guilty of sodomy this February 10, says Zaid Ibrahim in his latest blog posting.

“For the first time since independence,” he writes, “we would be sending someone to prison for five years for what is a moral offence, at best.”

He says the February 10 decision “will tell the world a few things about Malaysia”.

“If the case is acquitted (as I hope it will be), then it means the justice system upholds the basic tenet of giving the benefit of reasonable doubt to the accused. Much has been made about why Anwar’s alibis did not materialise or why he elected to give his statement from the dock and not under oath. But those are his choices and he has a right to make them. We may draw any inference from them that we want but they do not amount to evidence against him.

“The primary evidence, on the other hand, is all in tatters. The DNA samples were tampered with, although some will point out that what was tampered with or torn was just the plastic bag the samples were kept in and not the samples themselves. Well it’s clear that the person who was responsible for this tampering was a policeman investigating the case, and not a chemist or someone not involved with the prosecution.

“I hope the judges will view the investigating officer’s conduct with suspicion and draw an adverse inference on this point and release Anwar Ibrahim. A good criminal lawyer can give other valid reasons why he should be acquitted.”

He says it would be wrong to condone a guilty verdict on Anwar and at the same time not be revolted by the way Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered.

“How can we feel no necessity to explore the motives behind the heinous killing?”

Zaid supports a public inquiry into the murder. “It can reveal to us how the system of government operates, as well as how the police and our justice system will manage such cases— where there is some connection to top leaders—in future.

“Understanding what happened to Altantuya holds the key to understanding many things that are wrong with our country.”