Ambiga should be investigated for saying BN jailed Anwar, Shafee repeats


(Malay Mail Online) – Someone should haul human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (pic) to court for insinuating Barisan Nasional (BN) had influenced Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has insisted.

In an interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian, Shafee, who was lead prosecutor in Anwar’s sodomy case, maintained that the former Bar Council chief’s claim that the ruling pact was responsible for sending Anwar to prison was a huge insult and should be investigated.

“Is she saying that the Chief Justice and four other judges are part of BN? That is the worst insult against the judiciary, seen as smearing the judiciary with scandal,” Shafee was quoted saying.

He added that someone from the Attorney-General’s Chambers should bring charges against Ambiga to ensure that the courts remain fair and impartial.

“Someone from the Attorney-General’s office should drag Ambiga to court for insulting the court,” he said.

“Under the Legal Profession Act, the Bar Council constitution states that they must be free, just as free as the judiciary. In fact, the freer the Bar Council, the strong it’ll be,” he added.

Asked today to respond to Shafee’s remarks, Ambiga declined to comment.

Local news portal The Malaysian Insider quoted Ambiga as saying last Thursday that BN will “regret” incarcerating Anwar following the latter’s conviction for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

“BN (Barisan Nasional) will see that it has made a terrible mistake in imprisoning him,” she said last Thursday at a forum organized by Malaysiakini titled ‘Anwar Imprisoned: the Future of Malaysian Politics.’

At an Umno Youth forum on Tuesday night, Shafee also suggested that action be taken against the Bar Council, which he described as a “political animal” used by the opposition to attack the government.

The lawyer’s assertion was in response to Bar Council president Christopher Leong’s highlighting of “glaring anomalies” that included the decision to prosecute Anwar for sodomy but not his accuser, former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

“Christopher Leong doesn’t understand the case and he made such criticism despite not being down in the arena himself… and when he said the verdict was persecution and not prosecution, he was implicating the Federal Court itself,” Shafee said at the forum.

“The Bar Council has become a political animal… they are in fact a political party belonging to the opposition,” he added later on.

Shafee claimed that Leong was in contempt for his remarks because they suggested the Federal Court judges were incapable of impartial conduct, adding that the latter should be cited for contempt of court.

But the lawyer said that he cannot be the person to initiate the move as it would create the impression of bias.

Last week, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Saiful, and sentenced the Permatang Pauh lawmaker to five years’ jail.

Anwar will be disqualified as MP and federal opposition leader within 14 days of his conviction unless he files a petition seeking a royal pardon.